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At about eleven at night, Amber lay in her bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking about what had happened at dinner.

She didn't mean to make her brother cry. But she also kind of did. It didn't seem fair to her that she was the one who had to feel the pain of her brother, her only close family, not really being there for her.

She rolled over to her side and tried to focus on getting to sleep. Yet there was some kind of nagging fear in the back of her mind, that told her something was wrong.

Amber.

"Huh?" she sat up in bed, looking around. There was no one in the room.

Amber.

"Who are you?" she whispered into the dark. The voice had come a little more urgently this time.

Never mind who I am. I am you. Listen to me. You are in danger. Go downstairs, but do not go into the living room. Stay outside the door, and listen.

"What do you mean I'm in danger?" she asked. No answer. "Wait!" Amber hopped out of bed. She looked around, but saw nothing. Then she looked at the door.

She took a deep breath, and started to creep out. She tip-toed down the stairs and up to the doorway to the living room. She heard laughing. She edged herself closer to the doorframe. Then she carefully peeked into the room. It took every bit of strength she had just to keep from screaming.

Four figures stood in the room. Two of them were a pitch black, others were a bright white.

"And you're sure she's asleep?" asked one of the white figures. She looked feminine, with two huge white x's over her eyes. Still somehow Raye knew she was looking at one of the black figures.

"Of course," replied one of the black figures. He had two white pinhole eyes and a huge grin made out of a row of top teeth. "I checked at about ten. She was out cold."

"Uh, are you sure she can't hear us?" asked the other white figure. He had scars all over him.

"She could sleep through a Klaxon Horn," the last figure remarked. He was a pitch black with huge white glasses and a huge white grin. Raye thought those glasses looked very familiar.

"She certainly has a different view of the world," the pinhole eyed figure remarked. He was tall and husky.

"She is special. Definately more deserving than others," the x'd out eyes figure chimed. Her fingernails were sharp.

"The Administrator sure would be pleased if we brought her to Stasis," the scarred figure said quietly. That attitude seemed eerily familiar.

"I'll be the one to do it," the glasses figure concluded.

"Aw, is someone mad that she made him cry?" the pinhole figure snickered.

"No, Firebrand, I think she'd trust me more," the glasses figure snapped. "Besides, I don't trust you around her."

"Sentinel, Firebrand, both of you, cut it out!" the x'd eyed figure ordered.

"Shut up, Cursor," Firebrand growled.

"Excuse you! I am a Queen, not a Rook, and will be treated as so!" Cursor sniffed.

"Uh, guys-" the scarred figure began.

"Stay out of this, Mr. Scars!" Cursor ordered. Mr. Scars shut his mouth.

"Look, let's just get this over with," Sentinel sighed. "I don't want to put her through too much pain."

Amber stepped back, shocked and stunned all at once. She was so shocked, she didn't even notice that she was backing right into a table-drawer.

"OH!" she tripped over the drawer and went crashing down to the ground, along with a flower vase. The vase shattered, broken glass flying everywhere. It only took a heartbeat for Raye to realize her hand was bleeding hard and fast.

She wasn't the only one who noticed what she did. The four figures turned toward the door.

"Out there!" the voice of Firebrand shouted.

Amber quickly got up and dashed up the stairs. But not before Sentinel came out and saw who was spying.

"Up there! Amber Havran Haas! STOP!" he shouted.

She didn't know how he knew her name, but she was too frazzled to think. She quickly ran into her room and slammed the door shut behind her.

"Open the door! Amber Haas, unlock this door!" the voice of Mr. Scars ordered as he pounded on the door. "Uh, please?"

Amber turned to the dresser next to the door and fumbled for the key. The house was so old, the doors had to be locked with skeleton keys.

She quickly locked the door, and then rested her head on the door. Her bleeding hand was trembling slightly.

"Well, well, well," the voice of Sentinel clicked his tongue. "Looks like someody was reading under the covers again."

Amber turned around, and saw that Sentinel, Cursor, and Mr. Scars were standing on the other side of the room.

She tried to scream, but then she felt a hand clamp over her mouth, and an arm wrapping around her arms to keep her still.

"Shh..." Firebrand coaxed, "No, no, you don't want to do that, my child."

 

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