Natasha looks around, seemingly searching for something. “Where’s Ray?”
“I don’t know, he ran outside a little bit after it was just us.” Eve shrugs.
“So we might find him by going outside.” Julie sighs.
“Aren’t you worried?!” Natasha shouts.
“He’s your toy, not mine.” Julie rolls her eyes.
“He’s not a toy? He’s a person!” Natasha says.
“Then go find him.” Julie gets her stuff and heads off.
Eve shrugs and follows Julie.
“Where are you going?” Natasha asks.
“To the exit. Ray headed this way, so it’s not like we’ll find him if we go back.” Eve shrugs once again.
Natasha wants to follow, but her leg is holding her back.
“Ah yeah, how’s your leg?” April kneels near Natasha to check on her leg.
“It’s fine…” Natasha sighs.
“Did you sprain it?” April questions.
Natasha doesn’t answer April.
“Okay let’s assume you did, I think a sprain takes two weeks to heal if it’s light, and maybe ten weeks for a severe injury? You’re trying to prevent weight on your right leg, for a light injury that wouldn’t be the case. But also not severe or you wouldn’t even be able to use it. So maybe five weeks? I don’t think they are going to like that.” April thinks out loud.
[Say, can we like help her?] April’s voice appears in Blue’s mind.
[We can, by giving her our healing. Let’s see. If we take six weeks, that’s 42 days. Assuming all of us would take the same time to heal that, we would all do one day per day. If we give her that she would get five days per day? That would mean it still takes her eight and a half days to heal.
That’s eight days of us not being able to heal even a scratch. Do you know what happens with wounds that stay open? They get infected, and that causes even more problems. If you want to help her, I’d say only get one person to do it and then switch every day. That way our body won’t just completely stop for eight days, that just doesn’t seem healthy.
So we get three days of healing for every day we don’t get. That should be enough, and doubles her healing rate regardless.] Julie calculates fast and precise.
[Wow, how can you count that fast? So that means two a day right? That halves 42. That gives us…..] April wonders
It’s silent for a few seconds.
[Twenty ehh.] April hesitates.
[Twenty one yes.] Julie shakes her head. [You’re terrible with numbers.]
[No, you’re amazing with numbers.] April sighs. [I’ll take the first day. Blue, you take the last. I saw that scratch on your hand, you need your healing.]
‘Oh yeah, from the tunnel before.’ Blue thinks as she looks at her hand. There’s a red line on the outside of her left hand. Just looking at it gets it to hurt a bit.
[You’re quite clumsy. But that’s besides the point, how many times do I need to tell you to hurry up? You guys are like those moms, that just keep chattering on and on for hours.] Julie sighs.
[Let me just finish this. You’re too impatient.] April says.
[Yeah sure, we have all the time.] Julie sarcastically remarks.
April ignores what Julie is saying. She rips a piece of her skirt off and wraps it around Natasha’s ankle. “This should help a bit. Come, let’s go.” She provides her shoulder to Natasha, who smiles as she uses April’s assistance.
“What took you so long?” One of the guards shouts.
“We’re looking for a boy, this tall.” Julie makes a movement with her hand to show how tall he is. “With strawberry blonde hair. Did you see him, Sir?”
The guards stare at Julie. “Uh, what?”
“I’m assuming that’s a no.” Julie glances around here. “Then where is he…”
Natasha fidgets with her hands. “Why isn’t he here?”
“Get moving, you brats wasted enough time already.” A guard sighs.
Ray isn’t in the cage either. None of the guards seem to notice him missing.
For months they work, without ever seeing Ray again.
“It’s all your fault!” Natasha pushes Eve. Eve doesn’t even take a step back.
“You ran away. How is that my mistake?” Eve rolls her eyes.
“How hard is it to prevent him from leaving?” Natasha says.
“It didn’t work on you, why would it work on him?” Eve sighs.
“Brats, get out.” The usual guard calls out to them.
“How creative, never heard brat before.” Julie sighs.
They arrive at the cave, for another day of work. Since they have been mining for a while they need to get a bit further than usual, making it way darker.
“Can’t they at least give us a torch?” Natasha complains.
“Fire and coal don’t usually work together. If you want to lit this place on fire go ahead, but let us leave first.” Julie teases.
“Why not?” Natasha raises her eyebrow.
“Didn’t you hear me? Coal is flammable, bring it in contact with a lit torch and it will catch fire.” Julie sighs.
“There must be a way, I can’t see anything he-” Natasha comes to a stand still. “Ray?”
“Hey.” A figure waves. It’s too dark to see anything more than an outline.
“Where have you been?!” Natasha punches the figure in front of her.
“Augh. What a greeting. I just went ahead and tried to find ways out, like you wanted.” Ray rubs the place hit by Natasha’s punch.
Natasha’s eyes light up. “You did? What did you find?!”
“Well, we’re on an island, I guess around 5000 km big. Can’t be too sure without measuring it, but I followed the edge to figure it out. Took me around 200 days just to complete that, this body isn’t meant for walking. After that spent 30 days walking around the island and getting info about it. There’s no way out, unless we steal a boat. I don’t know how to sail, and I presume none of you do.” Ray says.
“How did you even survive that long?” Julie asks with wide eyes.
“Just had to find a water source, which is easy considering the people working here have to get their water from somewhere. So had to find a way to carry some water. I decided on using some leaves, not perfect but what can I do? After that ran out I made a campfire to boil lake water.
For food I foraged some berries. Also hunted some coney with sticks, and those coney like to run away. So annoying.” Ray casually explains.
“I just miss the beard. After all those days living like a castaway I’d expect you to have a beard reaching your toes.” April jokes.
“At least no beard means less hair to take care of.” Ray smiles.
“We still have to do our work, remember? I rather have my food than none at all.” Eve complains.
They get back to their cage. Blue notices Ray has changed a lot. All the walking must have made him stronger, his legs look quite ripped.
“Ray, do the soul contract.” Natasha orders.
And thus Ray and Blue established a soul contract. A day later Blue finally gets to Vince, finishing a soul contract with everyone in the cage.
A month passes.
The doors open and a girl is lead into the cage.
‘That’s Kate?’ Blue thinks surprised.
After throwing Kate in the guards close the doors and head out again.
“Kate, what are you doing here?” April asks.
“They kicked me out, they found out that I helped with escaping.” Kate sighs.
“You still have us!” Blue pats Kate’s back.
“Everything I’ve worked for is gone, what use do you have.” Kate coldly stares.
“We can help you take it back.” Julie smiles.
“Haha, as if.” Kate says.
“You can get the power to survive.” Julie advertises.
Kate rolls her eyes. “That would only cause more people to hate me.”
“It won’t cause more people to hate you, you’ll just be able to protect yourself from those that already hate you.” Julie says.
“It’s still a no from me.” Kate sighs and distances herself.
“Brats, get to work.” A guard simply states.
“Still the same old brats…” Julie rolls her eyes.
“How am I supposed to do this..?” Kate stares at the pickaxe in her hands.
“You start hitting the walls with it and hope the walls don’t collapse.” Eve replies.
“Very helpful, thanks.” Kate sighs.
“Kate, come with me.” Julie waves.
Kate raises an eyebrow. “Why?”
“Ugh, just come.” Julie doesn’t take a no and pushes Kate further into the cave.
Blue tilts her head. “Where are they going?”
The rest simply shrugs.
“Just wait for them to get back, they’re not gonna stay there forever.” Eve sighs.
“I hope so.” Blue shakes her head and starts her work.
Time passes by, it feels super long to Blue. But Julie finally returns with Kate.
“Welcome back!” Vince excitedly waves.
“Hey there, buddy.” Julie pats Vince’s head.
Kate has her fists clenched and looks down. “Just get this over with.”
“Quite impatient, eh?” Julie laughs.
“Why did you take Kate and leave?” Blue asks.
Julie shrugs. “None of your business.” She stares at Blue and sighs. “I know that it’s hard, but you can’t know everything. Just accept it.”
“I’m still waiting…” Kate remarks. An odd sound comes from near Kate.
“Stop tapping your foot on the ground, I already know you’re impatient.” Julie shrugs. “Blue get over here.”
Blue heads towards Julie. ‘Why would she need me?’
Kate grabs Blue’s hand out of nowhere. “Now what?”
“You put your hands like this.” Julie shows Kate. “And then bump your head.”
Kate quickly follows the steps, leaving Blue confused. She doesn’t have the time to get her thoughts together as the world around her disappears.
‘Ah, my soul space. I still need to change it into something nice.’ Blue thinks.
Kate looks around with wide eyes. “Again…” She mutters.
The scenery changes, this time into Kate’s soul space. It’s completely empty, at least Blue thought it would be. Instead a familiar figure stands there.
Blue wonders. ‘Julie made a contract with her already?’