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Day 11, 4:43 P.M.
"What are you doing?" JT1023 whispered.
MT1023 chopped the air for silence.
He slid another step toward the new doorway. Nothing but white glowed on the other side.
He halted mid-stride.
"Did you hear that?" MT1023 hissed.
But MT1023 stood his ground.
A shape eased around the edge of the threshold. A face.
It saw, then pulled back out of sight.
MT1023 waved for JT1023 to come forward. "Hurry!"
Now, two faces appeared. Staring.
Two against two.
"Who are you?" one demanded from behind the protection of the wall. His dark hair drank the light like shadows.
MT1023 frowned. "Prisoners," he said. "Like you. Come out, slowly."
The other men did not move. MT1023 advanced with his hands open and harmless. "How long have you been here?"
"We don't know," the man said. "A long time."
"We don't know either."
MT1023 drifted toward the man who speaking. "What is your name?"
The man swallowed hard. He glanced at his fellow prisoner. "MT1024," he said. "It's printed on the bottom of my foot. It's my name now."
MT1023's eyes widened. "I am MT1023."
"I don't understand."
"You," MT1023 said, turning to the other man. " I don't suppose you're JT1024?"
"This is JT1023."
"I think understand," JT1023 said, approaching. "You're Jewish?"
"So am I. The 'J' and 'M' in our names. Jewish and Muslim. What the T stands for, I don't know."
"And the number?"
"Not sure. Just something to make it unique maybe."
MT1024 blinked back his watery eyes and jumped forward to shake MT1023's hand.
"But our numbers are one after the other," JT1024 said. "Do you think--"
JT1023 shook his head. "No. I don't want to think about that."
"But that would mean there's been more than a thousand of us. And more than a thousand of them?" he said, motioning to the MTs.
The observers noted the pairings, the reformation of bonds. The next stage was standing by.
"Do you know who's holding us?" MT1023 asked.
"No," MT1024 said. "We were taken in the night."
"Do you know why?"
MT1024 blanched, and MT1023 eye's locked onto what he spied there.
The JTs were watching.
"Do you know why you were taken?" MT1023 asked them.
Both shook their heads in unison.
The lights cut.
Booming music hit them like an avalanche.
They clutched their heads and stomachs and struggled not to vomit. Low, pulsing undertones were designed to scramble their sense of equilibrium.
And a voice thundered.
"Muslim Target 1023. Your designation is 'sky.'"
"Jewish Target 1023. Your designation is 'rock.'"
"Muslim Target 1024. Your designation is 'flame.'"
"Jewish Target 1024. Your designation is 'sea.'"
The sound ceased. The light returned.
Four figures filled the small room. All the doors were gone.
On to Part 7.
Go back to Part 5.