What up, big cheaters! Last week, y’all had the chance every 80s hair metal band dreams about– you got to make a comeback! After you destroyed the entire school and everyone in it, we rewound back a few chapters to here and allowed you to choose a new path that hopefully won’t end with you totally blowing it (literally!).

The majority of y’all voted for A. Separate from the group and head back up into the ceiling. You could use some time away from the mental clustercussery to clear your head and figure out your next step.

Let’s make the most of this resurrection, shall we?

Chapter 20: Your Battery Is Now Fully Charged

With your head still spinning from Cain’s attempted stabbing attack (like, WHOAH?), you realize that you just cannot deal with all of this shizz right now. “Let’s split up!” you bark, with an impressive amount of authority. The old you is coming back in stronger and stronger waves, and it feels good, like slipping on your favorite pair of sturdy boots. With a pang, you remember that you left those boots behind in Unit 25. That’s obviously not why you need to get back there, but hey, bonus!

Without a second glance, you step on top of a table and hoist yourself back up into the ceiling. You hear running footsteps and a door slam, but you have no idea where the others headed. And frankly, right now, you totally don’t care. All you can focus on is the sound of the sentries sweeping into the room, their quiet, menacing beeping sending chills up your spine. Your entire body is taut with the effort of remaining perfectly still, although your heartbeat sounds like it’s broadcasting through the school PA system. Hopefully, they won’t aim the body heat scanners at the ceiling–

You hear a muffled cracking sound as a robotic arm bursts through the ceiling tile and grabs your left leg. “OH FU-” your exclamation is drowned out by the sounds of more breaking tiles as the arm pulls you down to the floor. You reach out, clamoring wildly for something to hold on to, but deep down you know it’s pointless, because these machines are at least 100 times stronger than you. You land on the table in a cloud of tile dust, which coats your hair and invades your lungs. Coughing like crazy, you frantically sit up, your left knee pounding from the fall, and see that you’re surrounded by three sentries. You wonder if your old self would’ve come up with something badass to say, like “Looking for me, boys?” and wow, yeah, that’s lame. Guess you’re really not 100% back to being a revolutionary. All of these thoughts speed through your mind as you watch one of the sentries insert a needle into your bicep. Your brain starts to form the words and you realize, yet again, you’re about to be cut off. Oh fuuu….

Your eyes flutter open then shut again quickly. Ugh, why is it so BRIGHT in your room? You swallow, noticing your throat is dry and wondering if you’re late for class. Your knee is throbbing, and suddenly you bolt upright. “HOLY SHIZZ!” Everything from the past 24 (?!) hours comes rushing back, and you find yourself on a metal bed in a holding cell.

“Looks like your tranq tolerance has gone down since the last rebellion.”

Your head snaps in the direction of the sound and you see Rolex sitting on a bed in the other corner of the room. “Rolex!” Relief at his familiar and seemingly unharmed face floods your system, and you rush over to hug him. “I’m so glad to see you!”

“Uh… yeah, nice to uh, watch the glasses,” Rolex gives what you assume is his version of a hug, i.e. he awkwardly allows you to squeeze him. “Wow, you’re, um, an even stronger hugger than Tiny, and he’s a robot.” You release him and see him looking at you warily. “Wait, they didn’t turn you into a robot, did they?”

“Yeah right, Rolex.” The laughter dies in your throat when you see the extremely serious look on his face. “You’re not saying they can actually do that… are you?”

“I never joke about something this important. Because the purpose of a joke is to be funny, and it’s not logical to try to turn something terrifying into something humorous.”

“Uh, ok. You’re right, that is terrifying.” Your mind is reeling, and you look down to see your hands tightly gripping the metal edge of the bed. Those are still your hands, right?

“You used to know that before… well, before they wiped you.” Rolex can’t quite meet your eyes as he lets out a deep breath. “That’s the whole reason you got caught. Because you were trying to stop it.”

“So that’s what’s happening in Unit 25? They’re turning people into robots?” Chills race up and down your spine.

Rolex nods. “It’s the research center of this complex, or the brain if you will. That’s where they’ve developed the technology for the operations and who knows what else. They’ve only had a few successful transformations– well, as far as we can deduce.”

Your stomach drops as you consider what happened to the victims of the unsuccessful transformations. “I knew the machines were evil, but I didn’t realize they had the capacity to be such monsters. Rolex, we’ve got to stop this!”

“No shit, Sherlock. That’s what started this whole rebellion the first time around.” You wonder how it’s possible for Rolex to look down his glasses at you when he’s actually shorter.

“So, how do we get out of here?” You start looking around the room for escape possibilities. The entire room looks absolutely seamless, and you can’t even figure out where the door is.

“Uh, we don’t. At least, not until one of the guards comes for us.”

As if on cue, a panel that you swear wasn’t there a second ago opens, and a man dressed in a chine (the machine military uniform) steps into the cell.

“Good evening.” He speaks slowly and deliberately, his gaze piercing straight through you, and you realize two things at once. First, you must’ve slept at least seven hours, and you silently thank the sentries for tranquilizing you. Second, this man… might not be a man.

“It’s time for your appointment. Come with me.”

“Appointment for what?” You look over at Rolex, who is desperately trying to tell you something in the most subtle and therefore annoying way possible.

“You have no right to ask questions. Come with me or I will take you by force.” This man, er, manbot is not messing around. You look back at Rolex and see him make the tiniest of gestures towards the stun gun in the guard’s holster.

Do you:

A.  Go with the guard? If he really is a robot, he’ll be at least ten times stronger than you, and at least you’ll be out of the cell.

B.  Tell the guard that Rolex has to come with you? Sure, you don’t know what the appointment is, and you could be including Rolex in your certain doom, but at least you’ll be together.

C.  Go for the stun gun and try to take the guard by surprise?

D.  Signal to Rolex that he should try to take the stun gun and you’ll distract the guard for him?

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.