Chapter 3 Oxygen

Chapter 3

We were being led across the white hallway with Jessica and the other Atlantean leading the way. It was hard seeing where we were headed because the walls were all pure white that you feel confined; but you're not. It was just the illusion coming off of the walls.

Following the Atlanteans to who knows where this hallway leads to, I could see grim faces and looks of uncertainty on the survivors face. I couldn't blame them. Following strangers in strange places was bound to get messed up. I wouldn't even be surprised if I mirror the same expressions as them.

Rachel isn't walking with us. I don't know where she went, but as soon as we both agreed to come with them, two of the Atlateans trudge over us and carefully carried Rachel off. When they saw that she could barely walk on her own, one of them brought out a rod from his belt.He press the other end of the it and it suddenly broke apart in two and created a thin blue glass in the middle that hovered in the air.They laid her on the glass bed before they carried her away to another door like a futuristic stretcher.

We suddenly came to a stop. I looked up to see that we were now at the end of the hallway and a white wall stood in front of us. There was no door attached to it making me wonder if we happen to walked in the wrong way. Jessica moved forward and placed a hand on the wall. Once she did, a faint blue light shone over like it was scanning her hand.A second later and the wall started to part like it was dust particles blowing sideways.

As soon as the dust cleared, it revealed another room that made me took a step back, but I wasn't able to go far since they started to usher us in. The uncertainty and freaked out level among the crowd just grew when we took in the interior of it. It especially grew when the door that seemed to vanish into dust suddenly built up again and sealing us in.

No way out.

Some of you may be wondering what was in the room that horrified us. Well, for starters, there are large human tubes around the room with freaky people dressed like surgeons standing beside them as they studied us curiously. Then you can see a table beside it with blades and needles. Sealing the tubs at the top is a round base with tubes and wirings attached to it that leads up towards the ceiling. Drapes hung on racks surrounded each human tubes.

"Each of you will step into a pod." Jessica spoke. "You cannot enter the city polluted with earth air prone to disease. One of the Meds shall assists you individually into one. Follow their instructions."

No one dared to ask and no one dared to protest when the people dressed up like surgeons approached them and lead them to a pod. One approached me and gestured for me to follow. I followed her and was lead to one of the pods. As soon as I stood there, she drew the curtains closed and encasing us in a small curtains space.

She turned her attention back to me. "Name."

"Nathalia Trayce."

"Strip."She said.


"Strip."She said again. Harder this time. "Your clothes are exposed to harmful chemicals from the surface."

My eyes suddenly went to the metal side table beside her and focused on the little knifes and needles on it. I shivered and quickly stripped out of my clothes until I was only wearing my underwear.

"Take them off too." She said and gestured for my underwear.

I hesitated but didn't argue this time and took off my underwear until I was standing there naked. I suddenly felt embarrassed and used my hands to cover my body and frowned at the woman. She rolled her eyes headed in my direction. She went pass me towards the pod/human tube and pressed a button on it. It slid open. "Get in." She told me.

I stared at it for a long time. Unsure of whether I should or not. To me, it looks like an experimenting pod like in the movies where you keep mutants and puts some kind of liquid in the tube while they float in it. I shivered at the thought.

"I'm not going in there." I said.

"You will. You cannot enter the city because it may contaminate our air. I promise you that you will feel better. Take it from the others."She said.

That caught my attention and I looked at her. "The others? What about the others?" Is my dad one of them? Is she talking about the last plane that crashed and vanished?

"I said get in. Now." Her voice started to grow and I can sense that she was starting to get annoyed by me. And that was the last thing that I wanted. I stepped in and watched as she closed the glass wall of the tube. Sealing me in.

I pealed my hands from my body and placed it over the glass as I looked at her. She was standing at the side of the tube and pressing buttons on the glass keyboard. I squinted my eyes to see what she was pressing only to be cut off when steam started to pour out from the top of the pod. It first started slow that I could tolerate it, but then it started pouring steam hard on me that I started choking. It was cutting off my air and whenever I tried to breathe. I couldn't seem to get oxygen in my lungs. It was like the steam was cancelling the air that I was breathing and coming into my nostrils slowly as if filling me with the oxygen that I lost.

I started to drop on the floor of the pod – it was big enough to sit on – and pulled my knees to my chest to even my breathing. I felt dizzy.

It finally stopped with me still sitting on the floor and trying to catch my breath. My eyes watered at the lack of oxygen and I whipped them off. I was starting to recover my breathing and made a move to stand when another wave of steam started coming off harder than the first. I slumped back down again and fought for my breath.

What are they doing to us? Are they trying to kill us? Because if they plan to then I would rather it be quick to save us from this torture of sucking out our oxygen.

I thought that they were suppose to help us?

It would seem that I wasn't the only one suffering because I could hear screams coming from the others outside of the pod. I could even hear pounding fist and cries from the kids who we came here with. My heart constricted at the thought of a child not even close to 5 suffering the same things that I am undergoing through right now.

Suddenly,I felt anger to these monsters and I focused on that as the steams continued to blast me. It helps me get distracted.

The steams would stop, giving me just enough time to even my breathing before it would start again. The cycle continued for more times than I could count until I got used to it and then breathing the steams released like it was oxygen. I was standing now and looking out at the glass to glare at the woman operating the pod. She was looking at something on the side of the pod with a smile on her face. I realize that she was looking at a screen that I haven't noticed before. I know because I saw the screen's edge from inside the pod. She pressed a button on the keyboard and a blue light scanned me. The screen started to beat at an even pace and her smile seemed to grow wider.

I suddenly have a feeling that she was checking my vitals. Finally, she looked up at me. "Congratulations, miss Nathalia Trayce. You have been cleansed."

Cleansed? They call this cleansing?

The woman pressed a button on again and the glass on the pod opened. I stepped out feeling light It was suddenly easy to breath. No, breathing suddenly felt different. It was like I was breathing fresh air and it just makes me livelier for some reason.

I looked at the woman responsible for putting me in the pod with a confused look. "What happened to me? Why can I suddenly......breathe?"

The woman smirked. "Atlanteans were never meant to breathe earth air. It is polluted and therefore making you vulnerable to illnesses. Here, we get fresh oxygen from the water plants and filtering them in. All we did was contain you in the tube and filled it with the water plant oxygen until we can cancel out the earth oxygen in you." She said and handed me a white hospital robe from the table and fresh underwear. "Here. Wear this and wait outside with the others until everyone is finished."

"Where are my clothes?"

"Burned."She said dismissively and turned her back to me and started typing on a high techy computer at the side.

I decided not to ask why they burned my clothes and settled on as I wore the underwear and the robe. The material was thick and smooth and I couldn't seem to remember if I have seen the material before. The woman took my blood sample for further observation before I left.

I looked around. I could still hear steams and a few cries from the other curtains. A shiver went up my spine and I felt sick when I heard a kid cry somewhere behind one of the curtains.

I saw the group the I came in with standing by the corner looking clean and refreshed all wearing the same outfit as me. As I strode towards them, I could help but notice that their faces seemed clean and....relaxed. One of the old women that came here with us looked like she lost a few wrinkles and have seem to have a better posture than before. The others have a pinkish glow on their cheeks and their hair seemed to bounce and become voluminous.

In other words, they all seemed to have grown young. I wonder if that oxygen really has helped with this transformation and if it has, I wonder what I look like right now.

I stood by them as we waited for the others to emerge from the curtains and join us. Jessica suddenly appeared out of one of the curtains -I'm guessing that she had undergone the cleansing as well. She joined her fellow Atlanteans who were guarding the outer circle of the group. They were like sheep dogs keeping the sheep at bay - we're the sheep.

I starred at them cautiously as they talked to one another. My eyes landed on one of them. It was the man with the yellow feline eyes that injected the vile to me and Rachel and was the one who got me out of the plane. He wasn't like any of the other Atlantean men who seem to laugh and joke around. He only stood there and would only talk if he was asked to. He paused as if he sense me looking and turned his head to me. Our gazes locked and I quickly averted my gaze from him.

When the last group came out of the curtains, that's when Jessica started to address us again and told us to follow. Once again, uncertainly was drawn over our faces as we followed them, but we were a little more relaxed when we followed because of the after effect of the cleaning process.Jessica lead us to the center most part of the room where a huge cylindrical wall that looks like it was made out of steal stood in the middle with a radius of about half a kilometer. When one of the male Atlantean place his palm on the wall it did that molecule parting thing again revealed us to an elevator like interior. Only difference is, it's edges are circular and not rectangular. They ushered us in and pressed a palm against the interior wall and the wall closed in on us.

"Going up." Said one of the male Atlantean and suddenly, there was a blue scanner again that glided from top to bottom.

We felt a little shift on the ground and suddenly, even though I hardly felt us moving, we were ascending.

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