The dogs barked and the crowd moved back nad foth. It looked like waves fighting for teritory with the land. The stone wall was high on several dozen meters, gray as rocks and smooth so that it was impossible to climb. Black gate outlets did not allow to penetrate what was on the other side. The guards with guns ready to fire and dogs on leashes circled around the barriers. They were forming the first hindrance. Even by approaching the only gate you could hear screams and cries. Curses an the feling of panic in the frozen air, chaos.. The guards severely punished anyone who tried to cheat them to get inside. Jen was holding Nick’s hand. The crowd grew larger as they were reaching closer.
„You have already seen the entrance" Nick stopped.
„I want to get closer to see these famous dogs. They say the dogs eat people." Jen looked in Nick's blue eyes.
"Well, ok." Nick smiled and ruffled Jen's hair.
He let go of her hand and pulled her closer to him. He was very tall so she perfectly tucked under his arm. The tiny flakes of snow in the frosty air were slowly stopping slowly on Nick’s black hair and Jen’s brown golden curls.
"We just take a look, and afer that we'll go back home and take care of each other" Nick stopped and put his hands on Jen's cheeks. Someone bumped into him so he turned round and gave the man a sharp look.
„Off the road" he snarled. The mustached and burly passerby walked past both of them cursing under his breath.
"Where have we stopped" Nick warmed Jen’s nose with his breath.
"Let's go" she said.
„My sweetest" whispered Nick catching her lips with his own. Jen felt butterflies.
She felt his touches for so many years, every day, but every kiss caused a pleasant warmth and fear inside her. Inscrutable, panic fear.
„Come"Jen freed herself from his always getting hotter kisses.
"I want more" Nick grabbed her waist and pressed them together. His mouth walked down her neck.
„You’re in a good mood" said a man in tattered clothes of a pipeline worker.
„So what" Nick raised his eyebrows "When I have everything I need by my side" he added , squeezing another kiss on the girl's lips. They stood there for a moment and then walked toward the gate . They were in the second row , and Jen let go of Nick's hand for a scond. In the square there was a woman screaming The guards dragged her by the hair and pummeled with a baton.
"You think we did not have here such.." - they shouted kicking her.
„Come" Nick grabbed Jen 's hand.
The girl felt her heart beating like crazy. Now or never, she thought, snatching him up. She walked over between the people toawrd a guard.
„Jen!!!" - Nick yelled , running after her.
But she had these few seconds lead.
"He kidnapped me! He kidnapped me! Please, I need to go back, help me." Jen screamed running up to the guard.
The man grabbed her firmly by the arm.
"She’s lying she’s my girlfriend, Jen." Nick stopped a meter from them.
"Go to him" yelled the guard. Jen looked terrified. The hum of voices merged into one sound.
"He kidnapped me. Check" she begged.
"Do not do it. NO !" Nick walked on them, but Jen was faster.
She pulled up her jacket sleeve revealing her left wrist. The guard let her go immediately. Two others grabbed Nick and pulled of his coat.
„Marked" they muttered holding up his hand with a scar blackening on his wrist.
"I'll check what's with her. Come" The guard walked toward the barrier.
Jen trembled. They stopped at a vessel filled wirh dirty green liquid.
"Put your hand in” ordered the guard.
Jen fulfilled his command. The fluid was burning like fire.
„And?" asked another guard. They both stared intently at her wrist.
„Just..." whispered the other "She's ours."
„Take youre hand out.” he ordered.
Jen did it quickly and the guard gave her a rag to wipe her hands.
„Please, come" he said pushing the barrier.
Jen came behind the line of guards with dogs.
„Jennnnnnn!!!!!" Nick's scream rent the air.
Jen didn’t turn back. She moved fast in the direction of the huge door opening. She stepped into a dark tunnel , and the guard put her wrist to a reader. After a while a blue light appeared on the screen and the airtight doors slid open, revealing a long tunnel full of green lights.
"This way" the guard became nicer.
Jen was silent. She walked meekly through tunnel to the next gate. There her wrist was scaned once again befor she could walk outside. There was another gate with only one guard and a vessel filled with a transparent liquid. Jen dutifully put he hand into it. It felt like liquid ice. She was holding her hand in it for a moment and then pulled it out and raised. The guards stepped back allowing her to pass the gate.
"Welcome home" they wispered.
Jen nodded. She was not able to find words . After so many years she finally found her way to the other side. She freed herself from Nick. But she did not know anyone here. She had to find shelter before the advent of night, because at this time the sign on her wrist appeared to disappear at sunrise. She was the only one whose mark dissapeared. It was her ticket to freedom.
"Where are you going” asked the guard.
Jen calculated words. She focused on passing through the gateshe but never thought what will be next. The wide gray square ended with a skyscraper.
„Jona" she whispered because it was the only the name that came to her mind.
Everyone, even on the other side of the wall knew that Jona will soon become the new president.
"You know Jona?" the guard turned green "Place a car. To the winter residence of the Viceroy."After a moment a car she never saw beafore appeared on the square. A man with a nervous smile opened the door for her. She got in hoping that they’ll reach the house before nightfall.