The next part to The Outside. I think by this point I was at the end of sixth grade.

Chapter 4: Rendezvous

Seth and Taylor waited anxiously in front of the wooden door at the guard’s post. They had figured out that Wolfdog was a robot, but how? How did it just appear in the cave, and why did it attack them? The guard what the only one they could go to for answers.

Taylor had knocked, only to be answered by a skinny boy who looked about fifteen with straight, short blonde hair. He was wearing sweatpants and an untucked flannel shirt. “I’m David,” he said. “Your host will come in a few minutes.” Then he’d shut the door, leaving Seth and Taylor slightly bemused.

“Come in, come in,” the guard said, interrupting Taylor’s thoughts. He frowned when he saw her, but led them through a series of crooked, dark, hallways. They ended up in a small, damp room with the only light coming from a candle.

A few couches were scattered around the room. The guard sat down and gestured for them to do so as well. “So, first things first. Call me John. You are Seth, and you are Taylor. Though Seth, I asked you not to bring anyone.”

Taylor stood up. “Seth and I are friends and we stick together,” she said angrily. “I’m not going anywhere.”

John was taken aback. “Alright. It’s just that this is none of your business. I don’t know if I can trust you.”

“If you can trust me, you can trust Taylor,” Seth said.

“Fine, then. But we must start now then. There is a lot to cover. You must listen only, ask questions only when I’m done.” His voice was tired and gravelly, as if he ate rocks. He cleared his throat and began to speak.

“I have been watching you Seth, for a very long time. You too, Taylor, because you guys spend so much time together. Now let me clarify. there is nothing going on between you two, right? Just friends?”

“Yup,” Taylor agreed.

“Good,” the guard said. “Now, I must reveal to you something very important- you are adopted, Seth. The parents you live with are not your true parents. But they know nothing. To them, it was just as simple as they picked you up in an orphanage. But there is much more than that. Your mother gave you away for a reason. Not because she didn’t love you, but because she had to protect you.”

John paused, and Seth realized at that moment that they had many of the same features.

“Seth, I haven’t heard from your mother in a long time. I do not know where she is. But now is the time. There is a terrible war outside. The Walled City is the only place that is safe now. But soon, that will change. Your mother didn’t want you to end up in the Walled City. She had her own reasons for it. Right now, you are safe, but not for long.

“This city is supposed to be protected by the wall. It’s supposed to be protected by these guards. But each and every single one of these guards is brainwashed. All of them, except for me. Every one of those guards are under the control of Reynin. They were once good people, but are now his minions. Reynin has evil intentions. If he wins the war, humankind will be erased. And we have a few days, at most, before they launch an attack on this city. We think that he is planning to attack on Tuesday.”

Seth gasped. “Why?

The guard was barely whispering now. “This war is over a device that, if it goes into the wrong hands, then humanity will lost. But this device is disfunctional. It is dead cold. There is only one person in this entire world that can make it work. That person is you, Seth. And Reynin will stop at nothing to capture you, use you, and then kill you.”

Picture taken by me at Zion National Park, Utah.