SIX - JANE SOUTAINE IV
They weren't heading to the sea but near the beach. There was one tall hotel called the Spire. Around 500 metres tall, the conical hotel towered into empty nightsky and she knew nothing of the hotel because it didn't quite get the popularity ratings from local and foreign tourists. It looked black and windowless.
She wondered why the driver is taking her there.
Something burned the corner of her eyes far away from the beach, at the horizon. She squinted and saw a gigantic dome of light in undefined colours is expanding.
The flash, she gasped.
"A memory eraser something like one in an ancient movie?" she asked the driver.
"The world is bigger than you think, Jane. It's not only about the 42," the driver said. "The flash is not a memory eraser in a real classical sense because you can still remember what happened before but not me. I will leave the remaining answers for the Traveller." He parked his car, opened her door and pulled her out roughly.
"Why can't you just tell me?"
"It's not my job. I don't want to open a can of worms with this topic."
"Worms or not, I need to know."
"Later, you will." He took her to the lobby and strangely, there wasn't anyone there. He grabbed her waist and pulled her close to him, so that his head was just right next to hers. He whispered, "Listen, from this point onwards, you cannot turn back or we all will die. Not because of the tsunami, but something worse than that. You have to listen to me now. Go to Level 42 and meet the Traveller. He will be there waiting for you. We are counting on you. Don't find me again. I won't know you anymore after the flash hits. Now go."
He spun and ran out, shortly before a wave of bluish light washed over the entire area, piercing her eyes even though she shut them.
Seconds later, she opened her eyes, blinking a few times to clear her retina afterimages. She ran out to find her driver but he was gone. She went back to the lobby and tried calling anyone she knew. But there was nobody who knew her. And as if there was an electromagnetic interference, her phone went dead immediately after.
She sobbed. She felt so lonely now.
Wormhole Tech Inc. was her life as well and her colleagues hadn't heard anything about her. She remembered the sequence of the massive earthquakes. It started from the Sahara desert, then some happened at Italy, Indian Ocean and now Acheh, Indonesia. But those earthquakes from Italy and Indian Ocean weren't massive enough, although they sparked a new interest on tectonic science as well as a new fear of underground volcano belching.
She cleared her throat of phlegm.
Patterns. The earthquakes formed a pattern. She mentally conjured an atlas and traced those earthquakes in lines. And she didn't know what to do. They happened in a sloping-southeastern line starting from Sahara. And if she extrapolate the line, the next quake will happen at Australia, or US, allowing some deviations.
"Hi, Jane," a voice rang in the lobby hall. It was Dave. He was holding a gun at her. A very peculiar gun. "And, bye, Jane..."
She saw his fingers twitched at the trigger. She leapt away and Dave missed his shot and he scowled. He took off running after her. She ran into the back of the lobby and found herself in a corridor of ten elevators.
"Don't run, Jane," he said in a very maniacal way.
"What do you want from me?" she screamed as she waited for the elevator to descend as she pushed a button.
"Now, that's a bit hard to explain," he said. He placed the tip of the gun on his lips. "Actually, I don't want anything from you. I don't want you." He pointed the gun at her, once again.
"Wh-what?" Jane panicked.
The elevator pinged.
Dave knew she would dive into the elevator. He pressed the trigger once again. But he was sluggish. She still managed to enter the elevator and shut the door, not before seeing him being burnt into ashes in a few seconds. And a man with dark skin tone stopped the elevator door from closing. He was bald, dressed in elaborate tribal design cloak and holding a crystal staff. He looked like a wizard.
"Jane Soutaine?" he asked. His voice was deep but calm. But the voice could be deceiving.
"Get out! Get out!" she screamed.
He shut the elevator door and pushed the button "42". The elevator sped upwards and she could feel her weight increasing. "I am the Traveller and you are safe now."