Page 3 of Revelations (The End 5)

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She was safe with him. That was all she had wanted in the past, safety. Even if she died, she was glad that she had known safety with another person.

???

24th November 2021

12:05pm

Columbus, Ohio.

USA.

Xander limped through the bookstore, searching for any book on ethical hacking. He had been searching for it for the past two days in every bookshop he had seen on the way to New York. Unfortunately, not many readers were fond of programming books. Currently, he was in the largest bookshop he had seen so far. It had three floors of books. It had taken Joel a while to break them into the store. Apparently, even though the shop owners were never going to see those things again, they were jealous enough to lock their properties up securely. Despite the security measures the store owners had taken, migrants had raided their shops. All grocery stores around were empty even before his migrant group had arrived. Apparently, no one was interested in reading books anymore. That was why the bookstore locks were still intact.

He still had the wounds from his last encounter with Morgan. His left cheek was swollen, his right eye was purple and swollen, and his leg still hurt a little. It was the same one that had been hurt in the accident after the EMP. The leg had become tired of being hurt all the time. Nia had been massaging him, and so, the injuries were healing; however, they weren’t healing fast enough. He was tired of people looking at him and wondering how he had incurred the injuries.

“Hey, Xander, is this what you’re looking for?” Grayson said, running to stand by him. She held an elementary math textbook up for him to see. Xander rolled his eyes.

“Are you trying to help me or are you just doing this to annoy me?” he asked, and she grinned.

“You know me too well, Xander,” she said and ran away as Xander moved to tickle her.

“This is serious, Gray. I don’t know how many times I have to say it to you. There’s no time to play around. If you’re not going to help me, don’t disturb me,” he said as he returned his attention to the bookshelves.

“I still don’t understand why you insist on finding a book on ethical hacking. It’s not as though you could still use it to do anything. There’s no functional computer existing anywhere on the planet,” Grayson said as she walked through the row of books behind him.

“It’s true, Xander. Why are you doing this? With all the passion you’re putting into this, it’s becoming hard to believe that it’s just for personal development. It has something to do with the lady from two days ago, right?” Joel asked as he came up the stairs. He had been searching on the ground floor. Nia and Harper were behind him. They, too, had curious looks on their faces. Xander sighed. He realized how foolish it had been for him to include them in his search. They were bound to ask questions. Suzanne had told him to keep what

she had told him as a secret. She had also told him to start studying as soon as possible. Those two instructions were impossible to carry out at the same time.

The whole thing was even hard to believe. It had sounded like some crazy conspiracy theory from her. However, after watching Morgan come back from the dead and speak to the lady in Russian, it was impossible for him not to believe.

There was no Spain. After New York was the land of the dead.

How could he tell people that? No one would believe him. They’d all laugh at him. They would all think he was crazy- that was until they were face to face with the reality of the situation. He had to help Suzanne. She had a plan. If it worked, maybe he and the people he loved would be safe again. He had never been interested in watching movies on espionage. Looking back, he wished he had watched a lot more of them.

He sighed.

“I’m serious, guys. I’m just doing this because I’m bored and I need to wrap my mind around something from when life was normal,” he said.

“We’ve ransacked six bookstores in two days, Xander. One of the soldiers leading our groups, even asked what our raiding is about. And, of all the books in the world to look for, you want a book that deals with hacking. Besides, there is this urgency about you whenever you search; it’s as though someone’s life or death depended on it,” Harper said, tucking a stray strand of red hair behind her ear. Her police senses had kicked in again. She knew something was wrong.

“Come on. We’re all just worried over nothing. This is just a simple search for a book that I want to read. You all don’t need to join in the search. You could go and anything you want to. I just needed help getting in, that’s all,” he said, raising his hands in exasperation.

Nia came to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“I know when you’re hiding something, Xander. Ever since you met that lady, you’ve become glum. If something is eating you up, say it. We are your friends. We’re here to help. It doesn’t matter whether your reason is good; it is always wrong to lie,” she said.

Xander felt like a rat that had been cornered. He swallowed, thinking of what to say. Prim and Grayson had also come to watch him. He couldn’t keep telling them that nothing was wrong. Then again, there was the probability that they wouldn’t believe him. He opened his mouth to speak; then, he paused again.

“Come on, Xander. Say something. What’s going on? Who is that woman? What did she tell you that put you on edge?” Nia pressed.

It was hard for him to keep quiet, but he had to do it. Her life depended on it.

“I’m sorry, guys. I can’t say anything yet. You’re going to have to trust me on this one. You can stop helping me if you want to, but I have to keep this to myself in the meantime,” he said.

Harper sighed and nodded.

“Okay, Xander. If you want it that way.”


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