The group wound its’ way through the trees along paths that glowed from within. Her escort hummed happily and threw her several smiles. Despite the cloak’s affects, Kaleigha felt a growing sense of unease. She looked back, trying to spot the towers of Center City, but the sky above the treeline was empty. By the time they made it to the village, the joy was completely gone. The village was a sprinkle of low, modern buildings clustered around a colonial era mansion.
“How is this possible?” Kaleigha looked around in suspiciously. The village did not boast the same level of wealth as the penthouse, but the people here were well fed and seemed to have the luxury of time.
“Welcome to your new home,” the young man said warmly. “The elders would like to meet you.”
“No,” Kaleigha shook her head. This place had the same feel as the penthouse. “I don’t want to go inside. I just came to get away from the Union.”
“Union made?” a woman emerged from the mansion and blocked their access to the stairs. “Is she as useless as the rest of you?”
“Hardly,” the young man gave Kaleigha a sad look. “She’s stronger than the village born.”
“Then she cannot stay,” the woman knit her brow with concern.
“The elders will decide her fate,” the man said firmly.
“Oh, hell no!” Kaleigha snatched her hand away and threw off the cape. “I won’t go fall for that fate shit again.”
Kaleigha turned and dashed into the woods.