The ShAr

Alina's life had always been like this. Bland. Dull. Hollow. Dot Corp had made sure of that. It affected everything in her life, even her best friend. And Alina hated it. But what if there was a way out? What if there was something that she could do to take a stand? Something stronger than a simple smile, or a kiss on her brother's forehead? Of course, something like this existed, but Alina could never imagine herself being part of it. Sophia had been, and look where that got her. This solution was called The ShAr, short for Shiller's Army. Alina was close to her breaking point, but how far was she willing to go?


5. Chapter Four- Recruit



Chapter Four



“Alina Greta Stephens. Welcome to The Headquarters,” a female voice said, and suddenly, her blindfold was lifted.


Alina waited for her eyes to adjust while her heart raced. Alina hadn’t even heard the woman coming. And how did the woman know her full name? And what were The Headquarters? The Headquarters for what?

Then, her eyes adjusted.

Alina sucked in a big breath, momentarily forgetting that she had a bloody scrape on her hand, that she had been taken away from her world, that she didn’t really know where she was. It was magnificent. 

It looked somewhat like an old warehouse, except it was made of steel and cement. I must have scraped my hand on a wall, she thought, her eyes roaming. The walls were absolutely covered in color, and it couldn’t have made Alina any happier. She was in one giant room, but there were three doors placed on other sides of the room, so there was definitely more to this. Her heart leapt with excitement.

She knew where she was, and wondered how she hadn’t guessed it before.

The ShAr Headquarters. They brought her to The ShAr Headquarters. 

Alina felt flattered, and excited and hopeful. She had been hoping to join, but thought that there was no way she could, because her only connection was dead. Alina turned around, and found three people staring at her intently. 

The first she noticed was a woman. She looked to be in her late twenties. She had long auburn hair with a black headband, and brown eyes. She was curvy, and her black outfit looked great on her. It was made up of black pants, a black long-sleeve shirt that had been pushed up to above her elbows, and a pair of black boots. There was subtle color there, though. She wore a red belt, a variety of colorful bracelets, and her nails were painted red.

Next was a man who looked to be Auburn’s age. He stood really close to Auburn, close enough to assume that they were involved. He was dressed in roughly the same outfit, except, for the color, he had a green pocket on his black shirt, and a pair of green dog tags hanging from his neck. (Maybe to accentuate his green eyes? Auburn must have fussed over it.) Alina instantly wondered what the dog tags said. His hair was blonde, and stuck up in funny places, but it looked good on him. He and Auburn fit nicely together.

And lastly, there was a boy who seemed to be Alina’s age, maybe even a little older. She immediately knew it was the person who had been carrying her, and not just because he had green paint splattered on him. The smirk on his face was enough. He had shaggy dark hair and blue eyes which were piercing into her own. He wore the all black outfit too, and there were bits of gold all over him. The buttons on his shirt, multiple zippers on his pants, and his shoelaces. It would’ve have looked stupid on everybody she knew, but it fit him spectacularly. He made it work.

“Alina,” Auburn said, drawing her attention away from Goldie. Alina bit her lip, not sure of what to say. Luckily, she didn’t have to say anything, because Auburn’s guy stepped out and introduced the three of them.

“This is Maggie,” he said, gesturing to Auburn. “I’m Scott. And that’s Connor.” Alina tried to not look at Connor, but then he spoke, so she kind of had to.

“Conn. Not Connor.” Conn sent a glare to Scott, and Scott shrugged at him. 

“I’m Alina. Which you already knew, I guess.” Alina felt her face go red, but Maggie smiled. Her smile was brilliant, white teeth and all, but without the coldness that the the Dot Corp Collectors possessed. 

“Yes, I’m sure you’re wondering about that.”

Alina grinned. “Only a little. I’ve so far figured out that these are The ShAr Headquarters, that I scraped my hand on a wall so that means that we descended from the Escape, and there was no running, so we weren’t in sight of anyone else, which lets me infer that we never left the room, or the train station.” The trio stared at her. “Am I correct?”

“Well,” Scott spluttered. Maggie turned on him in a second, tugging on his elbow and whispering ferociously into his ear.

“You pack a pretty hard punch,” Conn remarked from the corner after a few awkward beats of whispering. Alina swallowed.

“You have a pretty sharp shoulder,” she replied, and he laughed.

“No need to be rude. I was only giving a compliment.”

“So was I. Sharp shoulders are assets in a fight. Good to jab people with.” He squinted at her, obviously not sure if her tone was sarcastic or serious. Alina only smirked and looked down at her lap.

“Alina?” It was Maggie.


“Do you want to be part of The ShAr?” Maggie asked, her eyes staring into her soul. 

“Yes.” The answer came without hesitation. She knew that it was what she wanted to do. Alina wanted to be involved. She wanted to be in the fight. She wanted to be fierce and deadly. Alina wanted to take a stand.

“Then let’s go for initiation.” Maggie nodded at Conn. “Can you take her? Scott and I have to go see Jared.”

Conn’s face visibly brightened, and Alina fought a giggle. He was eager, but she couldn’t take a guess at why. She had never met him before, and had never even seen him in her life. Whatever, she thought. Boys are weird. 

“Oh, and explain a few things to her, too, while you’re at it.”

Conn’s head dipped in a faux-respectful bow. “As you wish, m’lady.”

This time Alina giggled, and if it was possible, Conn’s smile grew even wider. As Scott and Maggie turned to leave, Alina heard one of them mutter “oh, boy”, and Conn laughed heartily. 

He turned back to her, his face growing serious. She saw his hand reach into one of the many zippered pockets on his coat, and he pulled out another blindfold. Her face fell.

“Alina, I’m really sorry, but I’m going to need to put this blindfold on you.”

“Why?” she asked bluntly. She hated having her eyesight taken from her. But didn’t everybody?

“You’re not initiated yet, Alina.” And that was all the answer he gave. She just shrugged noncommittally, and let him put the blindfold around her head for two reasons, and two reasons only.

The way he said her name made her heart tingle There was less than 6 inches between them


Okay, so maybe she liked him a little bit.


But from the way he was acting, it seemed that he liked her too. Or did putting his mouth right on her ear so she could feel his minty breath on her cheek and on her ear fall under “friend zoned”? Alina felt her body go mushy and it was all she could do to not just pass out on the floor right then.

“Alright then, let’s go get you initiated.”

And off they went. 

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