You can read the previous part here: Part 10

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December 12, 2036

Mei was upset. She didn’t know what she had done wrong to be stuck on this island. Mei remembered her thoughts as she had left footprints on the unmarked beach. “Nothing gold can stay,” she had quoted.

And she was right. Nothing gold stayed. Golden shores had turned into bloody ones. The Cipher had stepped in to end the war, but they had declared martial law. 

Now anybody who stepped out after six o’clock would be shot. Not six PM, six AM. However, anyone who stepped out before six AM would also be shot. Anybody who stayed in would also be shot. Mei was lucky that she hadn’t been shot yet. She preferred to stay home anyway.

She heard gunshots near her. The massacres had not reached her yet, but those shots were a bit too close for comfort…

The Cipher was doing a sort of “Holocaust 2.0”, killing all of the indigenous peoples of Eurasia. 78 percent of the Zealandian population fell into that category.

Mei had to find a way to escape to Eurasia. But how was she going to do that? 

The answer hit her. She had to go to Madagascar. Madagascar was the last remaining neutral state, due to its isolation from the rest of the world. If she somehow managed to make it there…

Mei started packing her things in a flash. She slapped all of her essentials into a suitcase and then threw some money into it. Finally, she took out her family’s jewelry. There was a lot of it, and the only thing Mei refused to part with was an emerald necklace that had been passed on from generation to generation. Other than that, she could sell just about everything else.

She heard more gunshots. This time, they were eerily close, and Mei knew that she’d have to be gone by the end of this night. Mei ran outside and sprinted in the direction of the airport. However, this was the direction where the gunshots were coming from.

Mei only had a moment to admire the ingenuity of this plot. If anyone tried to escape, they would have to go directly toward the soldiers, and would be insane to do so. However, if anyone stayed in their home, they were bound to be killed, and were insane to try to not escape. “Catch-22,” Mei said, before taking off.

She was going to outwit this Catch-22. To do so, she was going to run in the opposite direction. Then, she was going to go to the port and row the heck toward Madagascar.

Mei had strapped the large kayak to her back, and it was weighing her down quite a bit. However, after some struggling, she managed to get to the seaport, and then she got in her kayak. Making sure nobody was watching, she started paddling.

Things took a turn for the worse when she was about five miles away from shore. That was when somebody at the shore spotted her. A searchlight was shined all over the water, but Mei kept rowing, realizing that in the time it would take them to get a boat ready and notify the Coast Guard, she would be at least ten miles away from shore. 

She did some math in her head and found out an unpleasant truth: it would only take their boats ten minutes to reach her. Kayaks were not as fast as speedboats. She held her breath. 

What was unknown to her was the fact that the searchlights shined on the ocean every night, and the person who was in charge of looking for unauthorized boats (ex-PFC Summerhayes) was asleep about two hours ago, stating that nothing interesting ever happened. Mei was safe.

About 45 days later, Mei spotted Madagascar. She paddled ashore and then found a jewelry store. There, she sold her jewelry, getting enough money to be able to fly to Eurasia.

As she sat in the airplane with passengers on both sides of her, she reflected on her happy ending. She was getting a happier ending than she deserved. Assuming the plane didn’t blow up on the way to Eurasia.

And that was exactly what happened. At least in Mei’s nightmare. But as she woke up, she noticed that she was in a perfectly intact airplane, about to land in Eurasia. She was safe.

Mei ran her hand over the emerald at the end of her necklace. Yes, she was safe here in Eurasia, for once and for all.

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