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Six Months Later - Part 4: END
The gray elevator doors slide open, revealing a dimly lit hallway with gray walls and glass rooms. Old, faded paintings line the wall, a torn, dirty rug lies on the floor.
You step out, bow raised, expecting an alarm to ring any moment. Nothing but silence.
Jane and Omar step out from behind you. Jane walks toward you and stands to your right. Omar takes the rear. "Let's move," you whisper.
You carefully analyze the walls, looking for any cameras that might alert anyone you are here. There are none. Strange. A weird feeling makes your hairs stand on end.
"A bit empty, don't you think?" Jane says. "It might be for a reason," Omar replies. What reason could that be? Unless... it was too late.
You continue walking down the straight hallway. Locked metal doors and random rooms are the only things of interest. Some rooms have bloody operating tables or house dozens of vails and tubes, all filled with different colored liquids. You were able to find a room that happened to have pistols and ammo in one of the cabinets. You stocked up with two pistols each and as much ammo could fit in your pockets.
You wonder if your daughter is still alive. You remember what Jason told you. What if she was already dead? What if this entire trip and the loss of two people were for nothing? Or what if she wasn't dead, but you fail at finding her? What if you die trying to save her? You start to doubt yourself, thoughts running through your mind, making you feel more and more hopeless.
As you turn a corner, you stop mid-step. Voices from inside one of the rooms makes your whole group stop. The voices come from a room behind two white double-doors. You signal Jane and Omar to be absolutely silent. You slowly tip-toe your way toward the door, trying to hear what the voices are saying.
"Are we ready?" A woman's voice says. "Yes, I just need to grab a vial of morphine. I forgot it at the office, be back in a minute," a male voice says. He is walking toward the doors. Jane and Omar crouch behind a desk outside the door, but you stay put. You know how you are going to rescue your daughter.
The doctor pushes open the doors, and you jump out and grab him. You pin his arms behind his back and point the pistol you found to his head. "Hey!" The doctor screams, "Let me go!" Two nurses are around a surgical metal table inside the white tile room. On the table is your daughter.
The sight of your unconscious daughter infuriates you. Tubes and wires are going in and out of her body. She is just there, another experiment to these "doctors". "Get away from her!" You shout. You point your gun to one of the nurses and shoot, killing her in one shot. The other nurse runs to the back of the room, reaching for an intercom. You aim and shoot, killing her as well. Jane and Omar have gotten out of their hiding spot, but stay behind you.
You signal them to enter the room. They enter, and you push the doctor in behind them. He falls to the floor, and looks at you. "Don't kill me!" He says. "I'm only doing my job, my children can't live without their father!"
You look at Jane, she stares back. Omar has begun to pull out the wires from your daughter.
"What were you going to do with her?" You ask the doctor. He shakes his head. "They said she had the cure! They told me it was in her brain, I would have to perform a brain removal and extract it, as the secret to immunity was inside her brain! She would've died," the doctor says rapidly. Omar has finished pulling out the wires from your daughter. "She's still alive," he says.
The doctor nods. "We haven't touched her! The surgery was about to start. Take her if you want. Just please don't kill me!" He sobs.
The grip on your pistol tightens. "You're asking me not to kill you, when you were going to kill my daughter?" The doctor's sobs stops. "She... she's your daughter?" He asks, still on the floor.
"Layne, we have to go!" Jane shouts. She's right, you can hear heavy footstep on the floor under you. It sounds like the whole building is coming your way. "Please! Spare me!" The doctor continues.
"Oh, save it," you say. You point the gun at his head and pull the trigger. His head explodes, spraying blood everywhere. Jane runs to a door behind the table your daughter is in and opens it. "Layne, this way!" She motions.
You run to the table and grab your daughter and run to Jane. Omar doesn't move. "Omar! Let's go!" You shout. He looks at you. "Go!" He says. "I'll buy you time! Move!"
You look at Jane. She looks away. "Omar? What happened?" You ask. He stays silent, but then lifts his sleeve. A bite mark.
"What? When did this happen?" You say. Not another member of your group. "Back in the forest. Nicholas wasn't the only one who was bit," he tells you. "Why? Why didn't you tell us? We could've tried to save you!" You shout, angry. Omar has helped you so much, and it hurts to see him go out this way.
"I knew how much you wanted to save your daughter. C'mon, you've been planning this for months. Me being bit wasn't going to stop you, so I decided I might as well stick it out and help you until I couldn't any longer." He smiles. "This is the end of the line for me, Layne. Go! Save your daughter!"
You give Omar one last look. "Thank you," you say. The footsteps of dozens of soldiers interrupt you. Omar pushes you toward the door. "Go!" He shouts. You run into the hallway and Jane closes the door behind you. Both of you run. At the end of the hallway is an elevator, and you step in as the sound of bullets and Omar's scream ring in your ear.
Jane pushes the button for the first floor. With your daughter in your arms, you've never felt happier in your entire life. You feel as if everything you went through was meant to be so you could be here now. Jane smiles at you. She knows this is all you ever wanted.
You look at your daughter, something you haven't been able to do for months. She is still as beautiful as you remember her. Her red hair, fair skin, and green eyes hiding behind her closed eyelids. She looks peaceful, at rest. At 14, she could have saved the world.
The elevator doors beep open. On the other side of the doors is a simple hallway, leading to a set of double glass doors, reading "Exit". You and Jane run toward it and rush outside. The fresh air and breeze feel great. You see the trapdoor where you first entered the underground tunnels from, and run to them. Straight ahead, under the cover of the trees, is where your supplies should be.
You reach the bushes and jump over them. Sure enough, your duffle bag is still there, sitting by the trunk of a tree. Jane grabs it and keeps running. You follow, you want to put as much distance between you and the soldiers, which by now should be looking for you on the ground.
You run, farther and harder than you ever have. Past the pain, sweat, and urge to give up. You run, faster and faster, until you collapse. You get back up and keep running, Jane helping you by grabbing your arm from time to time. Hours, it seems like you've run for hours before you finally stop, back at the city, where the plan to rescue your daughter had first taken form.
You and Jane slow to a walk. Panting and breathing hard, you both know where you are headed. The building where you had made your first fire. After a few minutes, you find it. The spot where you had killed Jason only a spot of blood. Not surprising.
You and Jane make your way back into the building. Jane starts the fire back up again with a match. You lay your daughter down by the fire, and throw the duffle bag to your side. The moon is high up in the sky, and you pass out.
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You wake up to Jane calling your name. She's up, sitting by the fire. As you get up, you notice why she woke you. Your daughter is moving. You look at her. She slowly opens her eyes, looks around. She rubs her eyes and focuses them. Lifting up her head, she looks at Jane. Then you.
You get up and give your daughter the biggest hug. You embrace her, letting the tears you've been holding back for so long finally stream down your cheeks.
She hugs you back. Jane smiles.
You let go, and hold Ellie's head in your hands. "How are you feeling?" You ask. "I'm fine," she says, pulling away. "Who's that?" She points at Jane. You laugh. "That's Jane, she helped me find you," you tell her. Ellie looks at you. "What happened?" She asks, standing up. You stand up with her. "What do you mean?"
Ellie stares at you. "The cure? I had the cure to stop this." You look at Jane. Her face is blank.
You look back at your daughter. "Ellie. I had to find you. You have no idea what I went through to have you back by my side," you explain. "They would have killed you."
"They told me what was going to happen," Ellie tells you, her voice slightly rising. "They needed me, and I knew that." Ellie walks outside. "I was going to save mankind."
You follow your daughter. Jane stays in the building.
She looks at you. "What, dad? I was willing to die to save the world! I promised myself I would finally be doing something for the better. My whole life, dad, my whole life I've done nothing but let people down. This was the one time that I could not only do something good, but do something that people would remember me for."
You stare at the ground.
"Please don't say you took that way from me," Ellie tells you.
You look at her. "They... they found someone else. Someone also was immune. But they wouldn't have to kill him to get the cure. They spared your life."
Ellie stares at you, then at Jane. "What?"
"Someone has the cure," you say. "They let me take you."
Ellie is emotionless.
"Swear to me," she says. You listen.
"Swear to me you didn't do something stupid. Swear to me they have a cure and you didn't take my only wish away. Swear to me you're not lying."
You take a deep breath. You look into Ellie's eyes.