According to arrangements, Melissa’s group boarded the last coach while Lynn and Pavel with their group boarded the middle coach and the sleeping car at the front, respectively. When Melissa’s group entered the crowded train-car, she couldn’t help but notice that each person’s face rippled with terror. The coach brimmed with soldiers. The attendant forged a path through the corporeal mass and led them to their reserved seats. One mistake would bring swift retribution. Timing and luck were essential components of their equation. Pavel was right. His comrades do run the railways. Each member of her group stared straight ahead, expressionless. On their lap was one piece of luggage they grasped tightly.
Melissa tried to make sense of the hostile world she now found herself in, but realized it was a fruitless task. The cold, indifferent steel of hatred reig...