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My head is pounding, my ears are ringing, and everything hurts. My eyelids feel heavy, so I am not going to try and open them. I hear a beeping coming from my left, and it smells like disinfectant in here, so I must be in the infirmary.

I feel something holding my hand, so I squeeze it.

"Rori," a voice says, sounding relieved. "Can you hear me?"

"It's a little muffled," I croak. "But I can hear you."

"I'll be right back," he says. "I'm getting the doctor."

"I'll be here," I say, my voice sounding nothing like my own. "I need water."

"I'll bring you some."

A door shuts and then reopens not even a minute later.

"Here," the voice says. "Take a drink."

A straw pokes my lip and I take a sip.

"Better," I say, my voice sounding less hoarse than before.

"Do you know your name?" another voice says. "And your age?"

"Rori Irving," I say. "I'm sixteen."

"Good," he says. "Do you now where you are and why you're here?"

"Infirmary. I got attacked."

"Correct," he says. "I need you to try and open your eyes."

My eyes flutter open and I instantly squint because of the bright lights. I blink a few times to get used to the lighting. The doctor scribbles on the clipboard in his hand.

"We put you on the best medication possible," he says. "This medicine will allow you to heal quicker, and it helps with pain."

"Thank you," I say.

"I'm Dr. Everett," he says. "One of the nurses will come back and check on you later."

Dr. Everett walks out of the room without another word. My eyes flick to Eric, who has been standing off to the side since the doctor walked in.

"You can come closer," I tell him. "I won't bite you."

His mouth turns up at the corner before a frown takes over.

"How long have I been in here?"

"Since last night," he says. "Well, this morning technically."

I nod.

"How are you feeling?" he asks.

"I feel okay," I say. "My throat, face, and ribs hurt, though."

"I'm sorry I couldn't get there quicker," he says. He sits in the chair next to my bed and laces his fingers with mine.

"It's okay," I say. "You made it before anything worse happened."

He keeps his eyes on the floor.

"What am I going to do about training?" I say.

"The doctor said you'll be in here for three to five days," he says. "Max and the other leaders have allowed for training to be cancelled this week, so you won't miss anything."

"What's going to happen to Jillian and the others?"

"I wanted to throw them in the chasm," he says. He clenches his jaw and his grip gets tight before he loosens it. "But Max and the others have agreed for you to decide their punishment."

"I don't want them dead," I say. "But they do deserve to get punished."

"The other leaders and I also want to know why you were near the chasm in the first place," he says.

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