• "No! I am not going to do this again!" she barked.
    "Come on Jessica," Michael pleaded. "I need your help. You don't know what it's like to have that creep-"
    "Shut up!" Jessica shouted. "I hate him with all my heart, but I refuse to..."
    "Look," Michael said putting a hand on her shoulder. “All you have to do is sneak in, disarm the alarm system, and open the front gate.” Jessica glared at Michael, appalled by the very idea of disobeying the one ruler she had lived under for so long.
    “I can’t.” she said. “We don’t even know what the outside world is like. No transportation, no supplies, not even a clue as to where we need to go! Living like a slave may not be glorious; but at least its living.”
    Michael took her hand and pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her waist in a smooth and gentle motion. “But what is life without the ability to love the one person of your dreams.”
    Jessica’s icy fears melted away in the glorious burning hope of his words. Placing her head on his chest she whispered, “I’ll do it for the sake of being with you.”
    She listened as he sighed with relief.
    “I love you, and would rather travel the darkness of the outside world than see you in the arms of Koa.” Michael said, kissing her forehead in the secrecy of the dimly lit alley. When they finally went their separate ways he headed into the dingy ghettos as she walked slowly back toward the master home. Approaching the door she paused to collect her thoughts and erase those involving Michael.
    Pushing open the door to the den she saw Koa sitting in an arm chair, the newspaper in his hands. “So you have returned… have you any news for me?” he asked observing every contour to her body. She stood below the accusingly bright light of the chandelier, hoping he could not sense any trace of her secret rendezvous.
    “No sir. The peasants are all in order, the rebels wiped out, and the schools still praising your name.” she cooed. He stood up and looked her in the eye while tracing the outline of her face. She felt flushed at the cheeks.
    He look fiercely into her eyes with a sinister smile “You can have your days out, but you forever belong to me.” He grabbed her chin, his wedding ring glowing in the light “Are we clear.” Jessica winced as his wife entered the room. His hand dropped faster than Jessica could have imagined.
    “What is she doing in my den? Go to your quarters you despicable spy. You’re the last thing I want to see before my wonderful vacation.” she said. Koa smiled and placed his arm around the snobbish woman. “You heard her; Go.”
    Jessica sat within her room, right down the hall from Koa’s master bedroom. The possessive dictator always had her within his sights. She walked on to the balcony and looked out upon the city. The trash can fires lit the night sky with smoke and flashing embers. The darkness that had fallen over the world isolated the little city. This strengthened Koa’s rein. Through his righteous presentation and a few pulled strings by his elite connections, the people trusted him to lead them out of the darkness. The city used to be the jewel of the valley but now it was nothing more than the mirror of Koa’s true character. Dirty, corrupt, and devious. While tracing the never ending wall that kept her within the city a quick flicker of light shinned upon her. She looked down toward the gate. There stood Michael flashlight in hand and a pack on his back. Jessica walked to the door to execute the plan when she heard Koa yell her name in a drunken slur. “Jessss..icahh… come play you horrible spy!” She turned and sprinted to the balcony and scaled the down the adjacent drain pipe onto the ground.
    This wasn’t supposed to happen. This was my escape! My only chance to get away from this horrible city.” she thought running through the front door and into the security room in the basement. She shut down the alarms and gave the command to open the gate. She heard Koa’s heavy foot steps coming down the stairs. Sprinting through the door she made her way into the city and toward the gate.
    Michael sat, back against the wall, in total silence, waiting for Jessica to arrive. The gate slowly began to raise in silence. Michael stared into the city waiting for any sign of movement. A light flickered twice. Jessica was close. Michael picked up his pack and smiled as a figure staggered its way toward him. Michael’s smile disappeared as Koa appeared with Jessica in his arms. “So you’re the rat whose trying to steal my property. You know what we do to rats? We kill them!” Koa pulled out a gun and shot at Michael as he dodged through the gate. Koa laughed hysterically “I’ll let the darkness kill you for me.” he laughed and shot randomly into the darkness as the gate came to a close. Michael sat upon the ground in shock and filled with rage. It was then that he had found a new purpose for life. To save his love, his city, and gain revenge.