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4 The Void

    The door murmured a squeak as it was being pushed until it was stopped by a metal pin. Striving to look as natural as possible, Emma entered the enclosure shortly after Amber.

    The lighting in the room was a little more intense than the rest of the underground installation, which made it difficult to keep one's eyes completely open. The smell of incense hovered in the air, piercing the young lady's nose.

    The decoration was not very varied, containing some flower pots and shelves full of books with names that the girl could not understand. In the center, a large table, where there were some open books and a golden menorah with all its arms lit, adding a slight smell of burnt candle to the mixture of herbs and ancient wood.

    Finally, behind the table, on a chair, sat a man dressed completely in black, leaving his gray hair highlighted. He was reading a copy of what appeared to be a Bible, but considerably smaller. As soon as he noticed them both, he lifted his head and smiled.

    - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw that the light was good, and he made a separation between the light and the darkness - he said, with an emotional tone in his voice-Do you know where that verse is from?

    - Genesis, from the first to the fifth verse. - Amber answered, crossing his arms.

    - That's right - He leaned on the chair and sighed - As it is said in the Torah, it was God who did everything we know today. Day and night marked humanity for ages as distinct periods for obvious reasons. However, when the human being created the lamp, the world changed and the threshold darkness was no longer a problem. Since then, humanity's progress has never stopped, continuing at a frightening and dangerous pace, threatening the connection with the creator countless times. And yet we continue to coexist with it, living and adapting to new technologies. However, today, in 2025, the threat is much greater than we ever imagined it would be. The vibrant lights of the night mask the true darkness that hides among the abyssal cracks of sin. The darkness is mingling with the light again, and this is an omen for something much greater. If we do nothing, the earth will be swept away by the flaming conflagration of God's wrath. That is why we are here, to try to make a difference - He turned his gaze to Emma, who was startled by the sudden act of the man, who was now much more serious. - You understand that, don't you, Miss Fox?

    She was caught off guard by the sudden question, but she wasn't gonna let that shake her.

    - Yes, I understand. With what we are about to do, I hope that the rest of the world will realize the imminent danger it is in, otherwise, everything will be in vain - she said, crossing her arms. It never crossed her mind that the architect of the whole plan she had entered might seem such a normal and nice person. "Honestly, I imagined something more stereotypical than that", she thought, holding a laugh. - After what Miss Amber showed me the way, I regretted being so childish with the e-mail and rejecting Miss Heron's proposal.

    - No problem, my child - the tone of your voice brought a strange sense of comfort, but very welcome - Regret is forgivable, for in the end you admitted your mistake and came to the right path. So it's a pleasure to have you here with us, Emma. - extended his hand, suggesting a handshake.

    In response, Emma shook the master's hand, smiling back.

    - Amber, could you guide the Fox to the cafeteria? Considering the time that has passed from before to now, you must be hungry, right? - offered, once again with the characteristic smile.

    - Sure, I can. - She turned and walked outside, making a gesture to call the girl, who followed her without hesitation. Finally, they closed the door.

    After walking for a while and making sure they were alone, they both sighed with relief as the tension passed.

    - You too? I thought lying was natural for you. - Emma said to Amber, letting out a smile.

    - Give me a break, it's not like I have nerves of steel. - she answered, smiling back.

    - But look at that, it looks like someone can smile! - she said, pointing to the woman's face.

    - It's not like I'm a robot either.

    - But then, for a bad guy, he seemed pretty normal.

    - Lambskinned wolf matches the codename. - she paused to breathe, fully recovering from the previous moment and resuming his serious expression. - Anyway, let's go, I want to take advantage of the fact that the others are in the cult to talk about some important things.

    ⥏☉☉✡☉☉⥑

    Already sitting in a chair, Emma watched with starving eyes the plate in front of her.

    It was a chicken lasagna, Emma's favorite food. She hurriedly picked up the cutlery and took a piece of it and ate it right away. The taste reminded her of her childhood when her mother took the lasagna out of the oven. Unable to maintain her serious expression, her face gave in to the smile of happiness and pleasure. Involuntarily, Amber also smiled. The girl's expression reminded her of someone else, someone she hadn't seen in a while.

    - What was with the smile? - Emma questioned. As soon as she noticed her expression, the woman got herself together and resumed her usual expression.

    - One slip, nothing at all - she paused to pick up the steaming cup of tea that lay on the table and take a long sip, almost taking all the liquid. As soon as it was over, she felt her energies re-establishing themselves. - First, you have to understand that we don't have much time to decide what to do. In short, we will enter together with them in Yharag, we will turn strong, we will gather an army and we will end up with them, saving the world in the end.

    - Okay, but first, how do we get into Re: Birth? To get there we would have to have optimized machinery and a way to connect this branch to the main server, besides dying, of course. - One more fork, this time bigger than the first. In a quick sequence of movements, the hungry young lady finished the lasagna quickly.

    - By God... have manners. - she asked, with a face of grief. The only answer he got was incomprehensible words.

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    - Sorry, I was really hungry. - she said, after swallowing with voraciousness.

    - Back to the point... better not underestimate the people of this organization, especially the elite members. They have contacts at the highest levels of society, even with people directly involved in the Re: Birth project.

    - You don't mean... - she could not complete the sentence, for fear had taken over his words.

    - Yes, we have a way in - she added, causing an even greater shock to the girl. - And that's not all. As you may already know, you have to die to get into Re: Birth, but it's not the only way. The dead can enter because the activity in their brains is practically zero, leaving only a few remnants of the mind, which facilitates the work of the machine.

    - If you're implying that living people can get in, I don't think that's true. I've read the Project documents, they've tested on living humans. The result... was catastrophic, to say the least. - she said, feeling a little queasy remembering the image that was attached to the file.

    - Well, that's still true. This is because the brain activity of living beings interferes with the waves of the machine, which overloads and good, literally explodes the head of the one who is connected to the apparatus. - Emma's expression alternated with one of disgust, evidencing that she mentalized the image. - That's why we got this. - With some difficulty, she removed a chip that was behind her ear and put it close to the girl's face for her to see.

    - A removable microchip? Isn't that exclusive to the army?

    - As I said before, the elite members have many contacts. As you said, this is a removable enhancement chip, a small device capable of improving certain human capabilities. This chip I have in hand contains an inactive artificial intelligence and a GPS which, besides containing the coordinates of its appearance in the world, divides the tension created by the machine's waves, protecting your brain. At most, you'll feel some pretty severe pain on the spot, but you won't die. One detail, I've changed your coordinates on the chip they'll give you, so you'll have time to stay strong until they find you. There's more, there's a code that... - Before she could talk, Amber noticed two people coming towards them. - Well, that I'll tell you later, or you'll find out for yourself, whatever comes first.

    As soon as she finished speaking, two cultists stopped by the side of the table, facing them.

    - Miss Amber, it's time.

    - Very well - she said, rising from her chair. - Come on, Emma!

    Following the order of the silver-haired woman, the girl followed her through the white corridors until they stopped in front of a door, where several other members of the organization were waiting for their arrival. Among them, the blonde woman who approached Emma earlier and the Wolf were the highlights for Emma, who tried to look as natural as possible in their presence. Suddenly, Wolf took a step forward, gaining the people's attention.

    - Brothers, the time has come to do what we have been preparing for so long: to invade Yharag, the digital kingdom that tries to imitate paradise. Remember, let's not do anything wrong, let's just put our lost brothers on the right path again. As it says in psalms, verse 119 and chapter 30: "I have chosen the way of truth; I have set myself to follow your judgments." That is the path of truth, the path on which we will save the people held hostage from illusory comfort. Everyone with me?

    In sequence, all members clapped and shouted messages of support and faith, except for the elite, who kept to themselves. And then, the doors opened, revealing a gigantic room, full of iron tables with several devices connected to a gigantic machine in the center, which glowed and pulsed in a cerulean glow. While Emma was amazed at the greatness of the machinery, she was also terrified by the cold and invisible aura is emitted. She also noticed that several people were already lying down and connected to the stereo, which indicated that the initial tests had been a success.

    - From the moment you feel your mind separating from your body, you will not have any contact with the outside and once inside you will not be able to go back until I allow it, that is until we win. May God bless our journey.

    Wolf then gestured for the members to form a single line, to avoid confusion and badger. When it was Emma's turn to go to her table, Wolf gave her one of the chips Amber had previously mentioned and put his hand on her shoulder.

    - Welcome to our family, Emma.

    In response, Emma just smiled and whispered a "thank you", putting the chip in the back of her ear and going towards the nearest bed.

    In her head, several thoughts ran through her mind. "What did I get myself into? Will I be able to stop these people? I wonder how my parents are doing?" And others more. However, even with all these uncertainties and mistrust, she remained confident. Although she had never called much to others, she could feel the weight of thousands of lives on her shoulders, and that only filled her with more worries, but she forced herself to remain calm and serious.

    She lay down on the cold metal table and was assisted by a person to connect the devices to her body, soon after being attached to it. Fear and tension prevailed in her thoughts, but she did not want to lose to her fear. She had to win, not just for her, but for the whole world.

    As soon as everyone was connected to the equipment, the big machine started buzzing and shining more intensely. And then the process began. An intense pain hit Emma's entire body as if thousands of needles injected melted iron into her blood. The pain grew stronger and stronger until it suddenly stopped. Emma stopped feeling pain, and then she gradually lost all sense until she felt nothing more.

    Her vision was taken by darkness, being received by the border between life and death.

    Although she was without her sensitivity, she was awake, feeling as if her consciousness was traveling through existential emptiness.

    What frightened her most, however, was not knowing that she was no longer on earth. It was realizing that she was completely alone in the infinite void.
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