The End is Near

Last week, when I went to visit Sylvan, he wasn't in his office. Nobody was in the entire building. I was early, but I was always early. I waited around for about ten minutes, before giving up and walking back towards the entrance door. As I was stepping out the doors, suddenly everything went dark, and I have no idea what happened for a while after that.

The next thing I remember, I was sitting in my bedroom, on the floor beside my bed. Looking at a ghost. I thought I was dreaming. Had to be a dream. Sylvan gone, random blackouts, seeing Belle... That's why I didn't freak the hell out right then and there. Had to be a dream. I mean, how else would I be back at the CDC barracks again?

In retrospect, I should have not accepted everything as fantasy so easily. I should have asked more questions. Should done... something... I have no idea what, but I keep thinking there was some way I could have changed something about how all this is happening.

When I came to, thinking I was dreaming, I sat up and leaned against my old bed, and stared into the eyes of my adopted sister/daughter for the first time in so long.

"Dahlia," she started, the tears in her eyes dancing in the moonlight seeping in from the cracks in the window cover. It had been early morning the last time I could remember, now it was obviously at least late evening, if not the middle of the night.

Belle's voice sounded somewhat different than I remembered it. A little bit more mature, a little bit raspy. But it was definitely her.

"Dahlia I'm so glad you're okay. I'm so glad I found you. That snake Sylvan... I couldn't figure out where he was hiding you. I was starting to think you were dead..."

"Belle, what are you talking about? I was hiding. They were trying to catch me and kill me!"

"No, they weren't; that was a lie, Dahlia."

"What are you talking about?"

Belle looked at me in disbelief, "Dahlia, they've been holding you, hiding you from the world for the last few months. Sylvan's been up to something, but nobody knows what. Nobody's seen him since you left your grandmother's. And so much has been happening.... There's been another major outbreak since you've been gone, Dahlia."

"There's no way! I've been searching every day for any updates, there's been nothing going on since I left."

"Did you not find that a little bit odd? I mean, six months and nothing happening?"

"I... I guess I did..." I thought back to when I had first realized I was being censored. I knew there were things being hidden from me, but this? This was huge. A whole new outbreak? That meant a new strain.

"Have you at least found anything useful since we've been apart?" Belle asked.

That's when I started to realize I wasn't dreaming, because suddenly I realized we weren't alone.

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