Tony Ballinger was silently staring at the TV screen. The picture of the woman Jennifer had painted brought up old memories. It was good that recruits regained their memory after a while, but in this case he wished she hadn’t.
He sighed and thought of Francesca. She had lived at the laboratory for a while after they had woken up. But she got depressive and he couldn’t take her anymore. He had moved her into town despite knowing it was more dangerous, but their marriage had suffered anyway.
Helen walked up behind him.
“It’s her!”, she gasped as she saw the picture. Ballinger only nodded. He was not in the mood for conversation. “She’s regaining her memory…”, Helen continued but shut her mouth as she realised the state Ballinger was in. His wife’s lack of enthusiasm over his life’s project was nagging at him ever since he had started. But his dream had been too big to give up. Keeping humanity alive – Francesca would see how great it was, once they arrived in the new world, he had been sure. But it had never happened that way. Now she was living a miserable life in town and Ballinger had done his best to forget about her.
Jennifer sat down at the computer. She was looking at that file again. There was something in there she needed. She had only noticed at the back of her mind when she first saw it, but now she remembered.
A phone number…There it was! Tony Ballinger’s phone number. She had now idea what she wanted to tell him, but she knew she would send him a message.
Gladly, Ballinger was busy writing his book when Helen saw Jennifer on the computer. She rushed over to Ballinger and tried her best to block the TV from his view. Lucky enough, he wasn’t even paying attention to her.
“How’s the book going?”, she asked seemingly interested. He had been working on it ever since they had taken residence inside this god plum mountain.
“Yes, yes, great, I’m just -“, he was interrupted by a melodic beep. “What the hell…”, he murmured and took out his phone. Mobile phones did work here because they had set up a basic communication system after waking up, but it was hardly ever used. And almost no one had Ballingers number. Only Helen and Mr. Harrigan ever called him. And they never ever sent a text message.
“You can’t keep me here…”, Ballinger whispered. “Who even wrote this? Someone must have accidentally dialed my number..”, he wondered but Helen went white. She had a feeling who this text came from, but that was impossible. Text messages didn’t transfer through the virtual environment, Jennifer lived in. Impossible… She excused herself quickly.
Staring at the machine, Helen was still breathing heavily. What on earth had she started here?
Next: Chapter 12