NXT: CHAPTER 1 — A CHOICE EVERYONE MUST MAKE (X-HAUST)

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There’s a truth to it all, a message deep within, and a calling from above, which allows a choice everyone must make at least once in their lives—wake up…or, die.

She’ll accept any way possible to return to the time before it all happened. When she had a close friend. When her and her mother did more than just speak to one another, and when her father did more than mope and boss her around. Nothing else came to mind, though. Not even what drove them apart. Maybe in a dream, but even then, it was forgotten upon awakening. However, she learned not everything happens for an apparent reason, or from a viable source.

It’s for the best.

Inside the third pod—based solely on what they were told—amongst the thirty residents, Echo Turner rested at the edge, angered at her own inabilities to perform the simplest of tasks. She snapped her eyes shut, as she’s been doing since the break of dawn, and sucked in a deep breath. “Sleep,” she said to herself, wishing it was that simple. It didn’t work. Again, she commanded, “Sleep.” But, to her dismay, it was of no use. She squeezed her azure eyes shut once more. It must work this time, she supposed.

Sleep

Still nothing. 

The golden, translucent walls fell into the overgrown area where brush and plants tower over the average sized adult, and imagined what it would be like to feel the grass—real grass—once again.

Today, unlike any other day, the intense satisfaction of the night beforehand rattled within.

An image occurred, in broken detail, of Kyah. Somehow, she sensed it needed retained. But it slipped free, leaving behind a crestfallen stare as people passed through without much thought other than their own. Except the one person’s face she can envisage, and instill unwavering potential upon, within her mind…Kyah.

She knocked her head back, catching a small glimpse of movement from the wind pushing through various branches beyond the wall. A knock, from a branch, echoed back. She thought to herself, it must be nice but then again— considering the possible repercussions—maybenot. Synthetic air was just as good.

Then another different knock caught her attention.

“Help,a voice whispered within.

She created a shadow upon the glass with her hands. It provided sufficient visuals beyond its pane. In the bushes a darkened figure darted across. Another, right on its trail. She caught her breath, unbelievable...

Slouching back into position, a sigh pressed out. “Never mind.”

“Help them.”

There it was again. That voice


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