Everlasting Truth

One day, Alice finds herself transported not only from her life, but from her world. She finds that those who die can be resurrected and have special abilities. The M.A.C.E.S., a group of ascended beings, both from Earth and other planets, have chosen Alice to help defend her world from the evils that lurk. With the help of her mentor, Frank, and her friends, James and Emma, Alice finds that her second life is more interesting and challenging than her first.

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3. A First Glimpse

I couldn't remember the last time I had run so hard. 
Was it in the sixth grade when I was trying to impress the upper class men? Or in High School when I placed first in long distance relay?
All I could remember, was that I had never run for the sake of survival.
The bomb blasted a gaping hole into the wall that the EMPLOYEES ONLY door had stood. I had used that to escape. 
From what, I'm not sure, but to the hospital staff, it seemed quite normal to see a girl running through the halls like a crazed mad man. When they saw me coming, they politely interrupted their conversations in order to push themselves up against the wall, and get out of my way. 
This can't be happening, I thought, as I lunged over bags and through doors, glancing at the faces that stared, unblinkingly, at me. This is just a dream. But where are the strange things? The zebra-colored rabbits or the random soccer ball being thrown at my head? Why can't I remain in this dream, yet still hear what's going on around my real body? 
I laughed at the adrenaline rush and decided I didn't care. I can't die, I'm in a dream! I thought, I'm running faster than I ever have, and even at this pace my pursuers would be far behind.
         But as if to read my thoughts, I heard screams from the halls I had just passed.
Run. That was all he had said. But run where? I stopped. I had left him, the strange, yet accurate version of my own conscience, behind to face some unspeakable horror. 
Who am I? I thought. I'm a deserter.
I opened the door of the room closest to me and ran in. Hopefully they hadn't seen that. I looked down at the wound on my arm. It was oozing blood, and the mere sight of it made me nauseous. 
            I looked up. Two dumb-founded patients, a man and a woman, sat in their beds staring at me. I stared back.
"Do I know you?" the woman asked. I shook my head and darted into the bathroom. The light turned on with a loud click, and I stood for a while looking at myself in the mirror before I decided what I had to do. I had to save him.
Him. The man I've known for twenty minutes, who's here to teach me a lesson that I couldn't learn in reality. 
I pinched myself again. Well, this is odd, I thought. It's usually a good indicator that I'm not dreaming. A shiver ran up my spine. Am I dreaming? 
"Do I know you?" The woman asked as she clung to the door frame.  I jumped in surprise.
"No, you don't know me." I said as the woman's face sagged in disappointment. "Look. Some... some...people are chasing me. I don't want to get you hurt. So if you could just stay quiet?" The woman nodded and slowly walked back to her bed.
I took a handful of paper towels from a rack and wiped the blood off my arm. The wound looked minor, but I thought stitches might be necessary. 
"Here," the woman's voice called from the room, "there are bandages over here." I nodded and went to the cabinet she was pointing to. I wasn't willing to stitch myself up, so I grabbed some gauze and tape and tried to cover the gash. 
I heard more screaming down the hall. 
My hearings back, I thought. It's been back. I sighed at this moment of peace and went to the door.
The ground shook and my body hit the linoleum floor. I stifled a scream as I felt my arm bang against the wall. I looked over at the woman and the other patient, their eyes filled with fear. The ground shook again as I struggled to stand up. 
           What is it? I thought. What could possibly bear that much weight? 
I eventually found my footing and pushed myself up against the wall, hoping whatever it was didn't look through the small glass opening in the door. I held my breath as I waited. Finally, the shaking passed and I heard screams from farther down the hall. 
"It's okay," I said trying to reassure the man and the woman who silently whimpered in their beds, "Whatever that was is gone. You're-" I cut off as something pushed through the door.
The creature was eight feet tall. The tips of its horns brushed against the ceiling as it panted, the whole length of its body shuttering from excess use. It stood, hunched in the middle of the room, as its deep brown eyes surveyed us.
It seemed lean and weak, but the cruel-looking double edged sword that it held in its right hand, released me from any doubt that it wasn't a killing machine.
I sank to the floor. This was it. The ultimate test to see whether I will wake up from this dream, or die again.
The woman screamed as it knocked her off the bed and stabbed her in the chest. The other patients' eyes glittered at me from under the bed. 
I closed my eyes. The pain from my arm seems real enough, I thought. Maybe...?
I heard the rustle of fabric as it turned and looked at me sitting against the wall.
"Get up," its deep voice demanded. My eyes flashed open. 
"I said get up!" It yelled, jabbing me in the gut with its all too life-like sword.
I struggled to stand with fear paralyzing my body. Instead, I winced, waiting for the sword impact.
 "What is your name?" It asked, crouching down next to me, its blood red lips pursing as I trembled under its gaze, "What is your name!" 
"My name?," I asked, realizing that he wasn't going to kill me.
 Not yet, anyways, I thought.
 It laughed loudly, its whole body shaking. "Yes, your name! What, did you think I was going to kill you like I did that woman?" He jerked his sausage thumb at the woman laying in a puddle of her own blood.
"Yes, I did, actually." I said, as he helped me stand.
"No," he smiled, "I wouldn't dare. So tell me, what's you name?" 
"It's...Alex," I replied, my voice shaky as I quickly worked out an escape plan.
If I run, there's sure to be more just like him, I thought. And they might not be as lenient as to whether I end up like that woman or not. I gulped as I looked past the creature towards the dead body on the floor.
"You said you're name was Alex, right?" he said asked. I nodded.
"You know, Alex, I can tell when people lie," he leaned in close to my face, and his breath smelled vile as he whispered, "And you my dear, are lying. I know who you are, Alice. I know exactly who you are."
I looked down, afraid to meet his eyes, and noticed a dagger sheathed in his belt. 
This could be my escape, I thought, staring at the jewel-encrusted hilt. This is my only option.
I decided to do it. "How'd you know?" I asked, trying to make my face look surprised, as I leaned my body towards him, "You must be very pleased to be the one to find me," I slowly reached my hand out for the dagger, "And who exactly is your reward coming from?"
He laughed again, moving his body closer to mine until we almost touched. "Why who else would be searching for the destroyer, other than Lord Kilith?" I wrinkled my eyebrows as I grabbed onto the hilt and tried to quietly pull the dagger out its sheath.
"And tell me, great warrior, who is Lord Kilith?"
"The greatest human rebirth there ever will be. He fights for the oppressed, for the punished," he smirked, "Not for you, destroyer. Your days are numbered." I sighed as I positioned the dagger above where his heart should be.
"And what about your days, great warrior?" I asked, plunging the dagger in, "Are your days are numbered too?" He gasped from the pain, and I had just enough time to pull the dagger out before he fell to the floor, dead. 
Great, I thought, that felt real. That felt incredibly life-like.
         I peeked my head out of the door and saw it was clear. I looked back at the creature lying on the floor and smiled.
"Didn't see that coming?" I whispered under my breath as I picked up its sword and switched his dagger to my left hand. The man under the bed whimpered.
"Just stay here," I said to him as I turned and left the room, following the route I took to get there. 
Please don't be dead, I prayed, please don't be dead. I heard loud footsteps and ducked into an empty room to hide.
"How hard can it be to find one girl?" I heard a frustrated voice ask.
"Lord Kilith said it would be a breeze," another voice replied, "He wouldn't have sent us here if he didn't think it was."
"How many guards do you have for the Skord?" the other one asked.
"Two, and he's trapped by fallen cement. He's not going anywhere." 
Frank! I thought as the footsteps got farther away. Frank's still alive. Maybe I can get some answers if I rescue him from those things.
I sighed with relief and checked to make sure the hall was clear before heading towards the morgue.
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