The moment Sherdan had left her, Anya stepped to the other side of the bed and activated her power. Her clothes dropped to the floor out of view of the door so at a glance they wouldn’t be noticed. She contemplated going into the control room after him but she realised that now was also a good opportunity to check over her test results for herself.

She walked through the door and went towards the lab. She only got lost a few times and had to backtrack twice before she found Hitchin’s lab.

On the way, she moved out of the path of people whenever they came towards her. Not only did she not like the feeling of walking through something, but she wasn’t sure if other people would feel her moving through them as well.

Annoyingly, Hitchin was in his lab when she got there. He had several machines going and Anya assumed that he was making more enzyme. She went over to his computer. The monitor faced away from the area Hitchin worked in and with all the noise from the machines any sound of the keystrokes would be covered.

She nudged the mouse, getting rid of the automatic screen-saver. Hitchin’s login bar came up. His user name was saved and already there. She frowned. Passwords had never been her strong point.

Her first try was ‘password’ but expectedly it told her she had only two tries left. Her second attempt was ‘Steven’. Sherdan had told her it was Hitchin’s middle name, although Hitchin often told people he didn’t have one because he thought it common and boring.

Anya hesitated over her third try. It was her final attempt before the computer locked her out of the system for a while. Throwing caution to the wind she typed in ‘Sherdan’ and hit enter.

‘Access Denied’ flashed up on the screen for a third time. Rather than disappearing as it had both previous times it stayed with a five minute timer. It had already counted down a few seconds.

Not wanting to sit and wait until it finished, she wandered around the room. It didn’t take long for her to be drawn to the whirring machines. There were hundreds of test tubes full of a pale pink liquid. On each one she saw a little label with ‘ENZ351’ on it.

Suddenly the password clicked in Anya’s head and she rushed back to the computer. Hitchin still sat undisturbed at the other side of the room, absorbed in checking things with his microscope. The timer had over a minute left on it but watching it count down made it feel even longer.

She tried really hard not to tap her fingers or breathe too loudly while she waited. The last thing she needed was for her impatience to disturb Hitchin or give away her presence.

Eventually the computer allowed her back to the login screen. With her breath held she typed in the enzyme’s code. She smiled as the computer desktop appeared before her eyes.

For a moment she stared at it. She had a Mac, like a lot of the creative people she knew, and hadn’t used a computer with Windows on it for many years. She pressed the start button and typed ‘results’ into the search bar. Lots of files came up so she tried ‘Anya’. Finally, only her folder came up. She opened it and looked at the contents.

There was one document file, three scanned pages, and a picture. She started with the three scans. All of them were paper documents of medical reports.

The first seemed to be the blood test she’d had. It listed what she’d had tested and the unexpected results. Most of it was codes and things she didn’t understand, but at the bottom was a few notes about the presence of a different enzyme.

She raised her eyebrows when she read that it had faded out of her blood samples. She soon flicked to the next report. It was the same template and most of the numbers, codes and ticked boxes were the same.

Her eyes scanned through the notes on the bottom. They were almost identical to the first, expressing surprise at the enzyme disappearing so quickly.

The final scanned document was a request for more tests. There were several ticked to be done but none of them had ticks in the completed boxes. At the bottom were two words, ‘Patient refused’. She smiled.

All the while she had flicked through the files she had forgotten about Hitchin. He coughed, making her jump. She knocked the mouse and it clunked against the keyboard. He turned towards her and for a brief second she panicked that she might be visible again. Thankfully he soon went back to his work.

Being more careful, she closed the scanned reports and previewed the picture. It was an enlarged image of a sample of her blood. The enzyme had been circled but it wasn’t something that interested her. Neither was the final document; it reiterated what Hitchin had put in the notes of the blood test but no more.

For a while Anya was angry at finding Sherdan had lied to her about the first blood test. Both of them had obviously worked. She really didn’t like how manipulative he could be when he wanted something.

He really made it difficult to know what to think. The friendship between them, if it could be called that, was so volatile she felt confused most of the time. He evidently wanted to keep her safe but she suspected it was only because of his own plans for her. Plans she had no intention of honouring unless God approved them.

She didn’t know what to do next. Anya had found what she’d come for but didn’t feel like leaving yet, so she moved the mouse back to the start button and clicked. She browsed what was there, including the recent documents. The five she’d just opened were in the list as well as some test results for other people.

One entry just had Hitchin’s name as the title. She hesitated before clicking on it. The document popped up to reveal his diary. She had to put her hand over her mouth to stifle a gasp.

Anya closed it again, her conscience wouldn’t allow her to read it. The temptation to see if she were mentioned was strong. She had wanted to know what the vision concerning her had been for ages.

She jumped when Sherdan’s voice came through the intercom thanking everyone for their patience. It dawned on her that if they were all safe now Sherdan might be able to go back to the room she’d been left in.

Anya sprinted back out of the lab through the closed door and towards the safe room. She needed to get back and put her clothes on before he walked into the room, or he’d know she had been sneaking about. There was no time to be careful about other people. She ran through them all without looking back.

When she reached the room she realised she could have just run through walls in a straight line rather than along the intricate maze of hallways. She mentally slapped herself as she pulled her underwear on.

Her jeans were awkward to get on when she couldn’t see her own hands and legs so she had to completely deactivate her power. She prayed no one would come in until she was decent again.

She’d just yanked her top down over her stomach when she saw the door handle turn. She sat on the bed and looked towards the door as it was opened as if she’d been there for ages and the sound had disturbed her.

Sherdan walked in and smiled at her.

“For now we are safe. Are you tired?” He asked when he noticed she was sat on the bed.

“A little. Is it all right to return to the house now?” He nodded. She got up and waited for him to open their secret exit. Before he could, they were disturbed by Hitchin. He seemed surprised to see Anya there and hesitated what what he’d been intending to say. Sherdan waited.

“Sherdan, I was wondering if you have time to see the latest test batch? We think another has developed a new talent but we are unsure exactly what it does.”

“I’ll come tomorrow morning. Keep them in the ward.”

“As you wish.” Hitchin’s eyes flicked to her before he left. Anya smiled when she realised he had been turned down in preference for her. By the look on his face it wasn’t normal for Sherdan to say no.

When they were back at the house she suggested movies and hot chocolates. She didn’t really expect a yes. He’d been working a lot lately and would probably need to work some more. To her surprise, he not only said yes but let her choose the film. He really had turned Hitchin down just to be with her.

She queried why he hadn’t done what Hitchin had wanted once their film was finished. For the first time ever he didn’t seem to want to answer.

“I’ve been working very hard lately and I may be very busy in the future. I thought you’d appreciate the company.”

“I do, thank you. What do you think will happen next?”

“At this point, one of two things. We’ll get what we want and be recognised by other countries and the UN, or England will try and invade and claim our area back.”

“Won’t that put a lot of lives in danger?”

“With our defences, hopefully not.”

“You mean to resist then?”

“Of course, where would be the sense in going this far if we didn’t resist being reclaimed?”

Anya didn’t know what to say.

She didn’t approve of his plan at all, but she could understand why people did. For a long time many people had been fed up with the current choices politicians gave them. He had presented people with another, alternative, option. It was something different, even if no one knew exactly what yet.

She only wished they’d see God could provide what they wanted. God was the ‘different’ they were searching for. The western church left a lot to be desired, however, when it came to God and their traditional and often boring way of making being a Christian appear. It made her feel equally as sad that churches in the west often attacked each other for their differences as well. She’d never understand why people couldn’t be nicer to each other.

Sherdan was hope to people and, for the first time since she got there, she was seriously considering doing what she could to help him. She really didn’t like how he went about his goals, however. The blood tests were a perfect example.

If she did decide to support him she knew not to admit it to him. He’d read too much into it and think they could get married or something similar. Thankfully, he’d not mentioned that lately. It worried her that he might do something drastic if she kept resisting him.