Up north there would be salvation. Amity had heard people say the phrase in passing far too many times for her to count. And while some spoke the words in disbelief, others spoke the words in earnest. Medicine, food, shelter, remnants of the old world and a time before the sickness and the fall, they would find it up north. Some people said it was a lie, that the entire world had succumbed to the sickness. And maybe they were right, but Amity liked looking for the light at the end of tunnels. It was nice to believe people were rebuilding and picking up the pieces, and she'd been heading north herself, before she and her friends were ambushed and chased off the road. She'd managed to get away, but she never found the rest of her companions after that. Amity liked to believe they were still on the road, slowly making their way towards the safe haven. Thinking about her companions stirred up a sense of loneliness. Her younger brother had been among them and he was all that was left of her family. She pulled out a compass and stared at the rusty thing, willing herself to believe that if she simply kept going, she would find them—that it would be impossible not to find them. Fingers clenched tightly around the cool metal and she finally looked up, at the rows of motivational gift cards and tacky souvenirs, and at the barricaded glass windows and the half open wooded door that read "Tony's Gift shop". The sky outside was a darkening orange and the setting sun cast a warm glow over the cluster of make-shift stalls and beat up tents that made up the temporary trading hub. It wasn't exactly a sight to behold, but it was a place for weary travelers to stock up on supplies and rest their weary bones, and it was also one of the safest ways to find people to travel with. Amity had been resting up at the empty gift shop by the trading hub for a total of three days. She'd seen traders come and go, but she'd yet to find anyone who hoped to head north. Time was of the essence, the longer she stayed, the more supplies she would lose... and her companions, they probably already thought she was dead. If she couldn't find companions today, she decided she would set out for the northern safe haven by herself in the morning. With a sigh, Amity pulled herself to her feet and exited the gift shop.