The one thing I needed that Karis couldn't bring for me was practice. I now had a black cotton dress, short sleeves and falling to my knees, white socks and black shoes that looked as if they belonged on a China doll. My room was on the floor above where they kept the Experiments and was large and well-furnished as if someone was expected to be in here. I had a comfortable bed, food and a view of the city, surprisingly less beautiful without all of the lights reflected on the water. It looked like a ghost town.
I looked out across the darkened forest, wondering which direction Lukas would be in. Would he be lounging around in one of the camps, laughing around a campfire? Would he be sat alone in the dark, wondering what I'm doing? Would he be hiding away in a tent with the girl with the flirty smile? Would he have been told that he was going to die?
Practice. I needed to distract myself even though opening my thoughts could help me.
Sitting on a chair with my back against the glass wall, I closed my eyes and waited. I thought about Roscoff Psychiatric Hospital, remembering all of the things that I had previously been told not to think about. The voices returned like a colony of long lost friends having a gathering inside of me.
Welcome back, Laure.
Did you miss us?
Run before you're dead...
The girl is your answer.
I would start running if you want to survive...
Have you checked the locks?
Use him... Use the Stolen, Laure...
All of the pieces clicked into place. The girl, Maria Stallon, was my answer. I was locked into my room so I would have to use the Stolen, Karis, to let me out. Using Karis would be the hardest part, the part I needed to practice to gain control. Control...
I clambered out of the soft confinement of the chair and stood in the center of the room, eyes fixed on where I imagined Karis to be standing on the other side of the door. In the mirror opposite me, I saw my reflection. Fierce. Determined. A protector. A warrior. A fighter.
I imagined Karis fumbling around for the right key on the large ring that he and the other Assistants carried around. I imagined him turning around and pushing the key into the lock. I couldn't tell if I was imagined it but I could hear the sound of metal touching metal on the other side of the door.
Karis... Turn the key, Karis... Good, Karis. Now turn the handle...
I was exhausted from concentrating so hard by the time Karis entered the room. He looked tired from being controlled to I ordered him to surrender the keys and to go to sleep on the bed I hadn't yet slept in. The keys would probably be useful.
On the wall outside of my room was a clock. If I was right, it was now Three-day, 30, April and around four o'clock in the morning. I hoped that the Stolen soldiers and assistants slept so I could roam through the hallways undisturbed for a while.
As I walked, I devised a four-step plan mentally, using the words of the voices as a guide.
Step one: Use Karis. Done. There was a possibility that I would be able to do the same for any other Stolen that I came across.
Step two: Find Maria. That would be easy enough since I remembered the location of the Experiments room that she was in.
Step three: Convince Maria to help me. I didn't know if she was an ally or an enemy, a weapon or a danger. Would she be able to help me?
Step four: Run. Easier said than done.