She opened her eyes, blinking a few times to rid the blurriness from her sight. She could hear talking close by, and her hand came to the side of her head where a soft pounding was coming from. She groaned, and that seemed to alert the others who were in the room with her.
"Hey." A guy appeared with a boyish smile and wavy brown hair, a red streak of paint was along his left cheek down to his neck and underneath his copper colored shirt with the loose buttons around the collar. "You're okay?" he asked, leaning closer.
She nodded slowly, she did not know who he was. "What happened? What's going on?"
He looked past her head to a woman with something like ash marring her blonde hair that twined down along her right shoulder in a braid. Worry was set on her face, creased along her eyes, studying her with something close to perplexity.
"The others went ahead after you fell," he said, rubbing his hands together.
"Why would they leave?" she asked, faint memories coming together, and she knew the rough terrain around this area would barely hide them from the creatures with ridges along their bodies, floating in the air and reminded her of dying coal in a hot room, its long waves of poison excreting and killing the plants, not a tree or a bush could be found anywhere, and the plains had become desolate in the last ten years.
"We tried to stop them," the woman said, crossing her arms. "They wouldn't listen after you collapsed."
She frowned. "What are you talking about?"
"You died," the man said, he wouldn't meet her gaze, "you died...from the poison."
It didn't make any sense. She was right here. Alive, fully functioning, how could she have died? How could she have let herself die? That would be foolish.
"How?" she asked, looking down at her trembling hands with burn marks she received growing up in a household that worked with metal and fire in the countryside near the sea.
"You took off your helmet," the woman responded, a sort of grit in her voice. "The others said you did it on purpose. That you gave up on ever escaping this place, on reaching the lands on the sea. You gave up."
It didn't make any sense. "Then how am I alive? How am I speaking to both of you if I died?"
The man wrung his fingers. "When they brought you here, you had no heartbeat, we were sure your soul was gone by the time you were placed on the couch. Except...it didn't. We analyzed the readings once we examined your body for any anomalies from the poison you had breathed in. There was none. Your soul is still contained, and it did not fade once you drew your last breath."
"So we waited," the woman spoke, "unsure if you would wake again, and yet here you are. No memory of what you did, nor the thoughts that ran through your mind when you decided to take your life and give up on us."
She didn't know what to say, or how she was meant to feel. Why would she give up on her friends? On the people who stayed with her on this side of the world where everything had died from the creatures that appeared from the earth, from the skies, from the air itself. She wished she knew what she felt in those moments.
Placing a hand to her chest where she could feel her heart beating. "I gave up on you with no answer given." Dropping her hand beside her, she slid her legs off the couch and onto the hard metal floor. "I will not do it again, this is my second chance on proving that."
"And if you remember your reason?" the woman, whom she was remembering as Noise, and the man beside her was Spark, while her own name was Hollow. The others names weren't coming to her, and she was determined to locate them, and save them, because she wasn't sure if they'd receive a second chance like she did.
Hollow stood, "I won't follow my own fears that we won't ever make it off this dead land, and I'll keep to my promises, that we'll survive. We have been since we were children."
Spark rose, giving her a lopsided smile. "You'll have to prove that. The first chance you got, you decided to die. The second, who knows, maybe you'd think you were right."
Maybe. Except she was able to see the error of her ways, leaving her friends to fend for themselves alone with the Shades was irresponsible.
"I won't do it again," Hollow promised, giving Spark and Noise a smile. "Let's go find the others before they get themselves killed."
Noise nodded, and headed for the control panel, Spark followed after her.
Hollow watched her friends, and her smile slipped from her lips. Her memory returned slowly in the last few seconds since waking up. And her reasons were there, the slightly grasp of hope in her hands had slipped away when she saw in the distance, the fires consuming the islands that had looked like a sunset, a hue of orange and yellow amongst the blue and silver stars. Her friends hadn't seen, they only watched as she stumbled, tearing the helmet from her head and breathing in the poison. It was the only relief she could feel besides wanting to scream.
Was there hope left in this world?
She wanted to believe there was some left, and she wanted to push away the thoughts that told her there was none. Instead she grabbed for her suit along with Noise and Spark, and followed them out of the bunker and into the dead lands.