It hadn't taken her long to realize that she had made a huge mistake by leaving Ben and the kids. She had severely underestimated Miles.
Miles had come to them asking for Ben to help him turn the power back on and had resorted to threatening them, promising to take them into custody and force them into helping if Ben didn't choose to come voluntarily. Ben had no interest and blatantly rejected his older brother. Rachel had sensed that Miles was serious on following through on his threats against their family and had gone to turn herself in in order to spare them from being hunted.
She told Ben that she was going for supplies; she had even considered actually doing it, and meeting them a few weeks later. Rachel was pretty sure Ben knew where she was going but still, he didn't try to stop her. Why didn't he try to stop her? Why would any man be alright with his unarmed wife going out "for supplies" alone in this unpredictable and violent new age? She assumed that he let her lie because he refused to take any responsibility for their part in ending the world and he knew it was all she could think about. Maybe he thought she would be gone a few days then return to them after realizing how futile her plight was. Now she was haunted by it all. She was lost to her children, probably presumed dead.
She really had been a good mother. She had been encouraging, brilliant, guiding, imaginative and most importantly; protective. Even after the blackout- Ben was practical, literal and willing to negotiate- She allowed him to be diplomatic because he was good at it but when it came down to it and they had seen the face of evil she knew that not everyone could be reasoned with. Her last vision of Ben and her children- a barely 12 year old Charlie and an 8 year old Danny lingered in her thoughts constantly.
Rachel's mind had slowly become a labyrinth over the years. There was no one she could talk to, confide in or trust. She had forgotten how to smile. She scribbled endlessly in notebooks, mostly gibberish that only she would be able to decipher. She worked physics theories, designed puzzles and mathematics equations that looked like irrational insane rants to the outside world. She kept the non-emotional part of her brain interactive at all times- and buried the rest. She hadn't been hugged in years- hadn't had the wanted touch of loved one- in actuality she didn't if she even knew how to express feelings anymore- there was nothing left in her world that she cared about. She dreamt of "might have" interactions with her children and how she would have grown with Charlie and Danny in their teen years. She didn't even know if they were alive anymore. How long had it been?
Then there was Miles. She hadn't seen Miles in at least 4 …years. Bass had tried to gain her sympathies on more than one occasion after Miles defected but Rachel had already lost that capability. She loved Miles since the day she met him, a time when she was still dating Ben. There was chemistry, electricity when she felt him enter a room that she did not have with Ben. With Ben there was stability and intellect, he was sweet and loyal. With Miles she felt alive with reckless abandon and, at the same time, a dangerous selfish desire. He was, in truth, completely opposite his brother.
The night that Miles left was very much a mystery. Sgt. Strausser entered her room as she slept- He had come into her cell in the past but had usually been so quiet she hadn't heard him until he was already in a prime position to restrain her. On that night, he came in loudly with a flurry of adrenaline along with 2 other men. Rachel remembered springing from her bed and backing against the far wall. Her heart was in her throat at the pace with which he was approaching her. The moonlight reflected in his glare. His lip curled in a slight smile as he took hold of her upper arm sliding behind her and whispering in her ear.
"Not tonight, Mrs. Matheson".
One of the men with him had pulled out a vial and began measuring and loading a syringe as the other moved to forcefully hold her left arm out – readying it for injection. She remembered shaking her head frantically "no!" As they were dragging her to the door she heard gunfire and smelled smoke. It was just moments before she spiraled into darkness.
When she opened her eyes, the first face that she saw was Bass's. It was intensely quiet. His expression gave her a chill. He eyed her inquisitively. Rachel's head was aching. Her body was still- letting her eyes adjust and dart around her new surroundings. The room was nearly vacant and poorly lit, 2 candles sat on a small table by the door, flickering softly. The room smelled damp like a cellar and it had no windows. She was lying on a folding cot, and Bass was sitting on the edge of a chair that reminded her of her grandmother's house when she was a girl, knobby and wooden.
"Where are we Bass?" She said hoarsely.
"Well, now- Rachel, I would tell you but I need you to share a little information with me first."
She leaned to sit up but both of her wrists jerked her back down- she was cuffed. He hadn't cuffed her in years. Something big had happened and she was guessing it had to do with Miles. She lay there, defenseless, processing what she could recall. Bass leaned into her space and coldly asked
Rachel closed her eyes. Here we go again. She opened them and looked right into Bass's grey blue eyes stoically.
"I .. don't know." She said slowly.
He flew out of his seat and she flinched holding her breath.
"Really? Rachel!? After all the time he spent with you the past two weeks he never mentioned to you that he planned on killing me and disappearing into the night?"
Bass stood hovering over her, fists clenched.
Her face dropped at his words and she swallowed hard. He had been to her room a lot in the past two weeks but he hadn't mentioned Bass. Nothing. He came in and ate with her nearly every day, tried to small talk. Miles hadn't asked her about the power in months. She assumed that because they had moved her into a nicer room that maybe he had been considering letting her leave. The corner of her mouth twitched involuntarily- giving her away and validating the truth of her statement. She didn't know.
Bass's hands loosened as he read her face, he ran his fingers through his hair.
"You didn't know."
It was half a question and half a statement. Bass knew Rachel wouldn't tell him things in the past but this time he honestly believed she couldn't. He sighed heavily and dug a key out of his pocket, reaching over to un-cuff her wrist closest to the wall. She followed his movements with her eyes and carefully rolled up and dropped her feet off the side of the cot onto the floor. He handed her a flask from his vest pocket
"Drink it, it'll help with the nausea."
He paused and watched her fumble with the top and take a swig- keeping her eyes locked on his. She tried handing the flask back to him but he turned away, stopping at the door, not looking back. "Looks like he left us both" he said before stepping out and closing the door behind him.
She heard the door lock snap into place – wondering why he bothered - she was still cuffed to a bed that she now noticed was chained to the wall.
When she was certain she was alone she let her features melt. Miles had left her. He's gone. Her heart was shattered.
Her head was spinning. She was back at square one.
If Miles wanted Bass dead, Rachel had no doubt he could have completed the task strategically. Perhaps he didn't tell her because he didn't want her to hold the secret, to keep her safe. But then again, look where she was now? She'd been left behind. She had no idea where she was or what to expect from Bass. He was just as wounded as she was, if not more so.
Rachel sat in the dark, clutching the flask as her thoughts became clearer. There was no way she was going home now. Why hadn't Bass just killed her? Why keep her? Her body flew up in protest as she threw the flask at the door as hard as she could -yelling in frustration. Her wrist yanked her back to cot and she dropped to her knees beside it in defeat. She could feel the warm blood beginning to run down her to her elbow and half laughed and half cried to herself for cutting her wrist with her handcuffs. O the irony.
All of the hope she once clung to had just been tossed into a pile and lit on fire. She would die here, alone.