Each square in a 5 \times 5 grid is either filled or empty, and has up to eight adjacent neighboring squares, where neighboring squares share either a side or a corner. The grid is transformed by the following rules:

Any filled square with two or three filled neighbors remains filled.

Any empty square with exactly three filled neighbors becomes a filled square.

All other squares remain empty or become empty.

A sample transformation is shown in the figure below.

Initial

Transformed

Suppose the 5 \times 5 grid has a border of empty squares surrounding a 3 \times 3 subgrid. How many initial configurations will lead to a transformed grid consisting of a single filled square in the center after a single transformation? (Rotations and reflections of the same configuration are considered different.)

**Answer Choices**

A. 14

B. 18

C. 22

D. 26

E. 30