Thread Topic: Spice
Kenna had nearly forgotten about their conversation earlier. The thought of it still didn't settle right with her, even though she knew it would be the most effective way for her to be safe.
"It feels like I'm leaving you guys behind to deal with all the trouble I caused yourself," she admitted, finally realizing why exactly she wasn't completely onboard with the idea.
"Kenna, listen. None of this is your fault. You are not responsible for their cruelty and you are not a burden. Okay? It's important to me that know you understand that," Ander said earnestly. As he looked at her, he felt a painful twist in his chest. He felt like he was hurting her somehow. "I've decided to go with you. Help you settle in. Maybe, just maybe, whoever's after you will give up. At least it'll give us more time to plan."
"Plan what?" Kenna asked in confusion. If Linnus had given up on her what reason would - oh, wait. There was still that rebellion thing he, Crypta and Lilac were a part of. Unless there was something else that she wasn't realizing.
"Our next move," Ander said decisively. He looked over at Crypta, who was humming while doing the dishes. "I-"
BOOM! An explosion just outside of the cabin sent earth flying through the air. Crypta screamed. The sound of gunfire filled the air as bullets tore through the walls, shattering the windows.
Kenna was standing closest to the door when the shots started firing. She gasped and flinched away from the door, using her hands and arms to cover her face and chest. Before she could even think about moving away from where she stood, a bullet pierced her side.
Kenna let out a cry of pain and clutched her side. She dropped down to the floor to make herself a smaller target. Wincing, she made her way over to Crypta.
"Is there a way out?" Kenna frantically asked her.
HOLY FRICK SHE GOT SHOT WAJSKDE))
Ander dropped to the ground, his heart pounding in his ears. They're not here to negotiate. They're trying to kill us! Robo began to yelp and whine, his cries of distress drowned out by a second explosion that caused the cabin to creak and tremble.
Crypta nodded to Kenna, somehow able to hear her over the chaos. She began to army crawl on the floor, loose strands of hair straying around her face. "There's a trapdoor in my room!" she shouted over the noise. "If we can get there, we can make it to the bunker!"
Ander could see Crypta's mouth moving, but the ringing in his ears drowned her out. He followed her gaze to a room, the one she'd forbidden Kenna to enter. Robo whimpered and trembled next to him in a way that was very unnatural to a robotic dog.
Ander looked desperately at the pack he'd left on the couch, filled with supplies. Was it really worth risking his life for? Before he could make up his mind, a round of gunfire riddled the couch with bullets. Painfully, he realized they didn't have time. Grabbing Robo, he began to crawl through the broken glass towards Crypta and Kenna.
(She didn't have anything to hide behind, she was right next to the door!)
Kenna nodded, then suddenly remembered Ander. Her face went pale with worry and she peeked out to see where he was, if he was okay. She was relieved to see him crawling towards them with Robo.
Kenna grabbed the kitchen towel hanging from the stove and held it to her wound. She didn't want to drip blood and show Linnus where they'd gone. She didn't even want to think about what would happen if that happened.
She peeked around the corner of the island and saw that Ander had gotten closer to them. "Let's go," she said, and started making her way to the hallway.
Ander met Kenna's eyes across the room, a wave of relief washing over him. There was a brief silence as guns were reloaded, then the awful gunfire began again. He moved between his friends and their attackers, pulled his own gun out from its holster and fired through the broken windows. A scream told him that at least one of his bullets had found its mark. Blood trickled down his arms, a mark of the broken glass he'd crawled through. He couldn't feel anything.
Crypta forced herself to keep moving, staying as low to the ground as possible. She faintly wondered if Lilac were still alive. A new thought dawned on her. Had Lilac betrayed them? She forced it out of her mind. She'd deal with that later. For now, she had to focus on getting everyone out alive.
She let out a shaky sigh of relief as she crawles through the doorway, her trembling hands patting the floor in search for something. Her fingers traced a thin crack in the floor and she dug her nails into the crevice, lifting up. It opened up easily to reveal a ladder down.
Kenna followed Crypta into the bedroom and watched as she opened the trap door. No wonder she hadn't wanted her in there. She knew she'd be slower so she let Crypta go down first.
Before Kenna climbed down the ladder she turned towards the doorway to see that Ander wasn't behind her anymore. She was suddenly torn. She knew that she needed to go down the trap door and that Ander would want her to go down to be safe, but she wanted - needed for him to be alright.
Ander worked better alone, she reminded herself, and she'd be no help to him, especially in the condition she was in.
Kenna gripped the kitchen towel to her side harder and began making her way down the ladder, leaning in so she was less likely to fall with only the use of one hand. She was starting to feel faint as she went down from pain and blood loss, but she soldiered her way through it and made her way to the floor.
Crypta was there at the bottom to catch her, placing her hands firmly on the biceps of the bleeding girl to steady her. Her tan skin was shockingly pale now, her eyes wide with shock. Her hand found Kenna's in the darkness, giving it a tight squeeze. Her free hand searched the wall, finding a switch and flicking it down. Lights flickered on the ceiling above them, revealing the room in which they were enclosed. She saw the bloody kitchen towel pressed against Kenna's side with a sharp gasp.
She released her hand, rushing over to a metal working table. She swept off the tools that had been sitting on it with a sense of urgency. She looked back at Kenna, her heart trembling when she saw how pale her face had gotten.
"Lie down here and don't move. I'm no doctor but I'll do what I can."
Ander was out of bullets. He shoved the gun back in its holster, lest it survive the attack and be checked for fingerprints. Robo was cowering by his side. The door to Crypta's room was so close. He stretched toward it when he heard a command that made his blood run cold.
There was no time to waste. No more crawling. He picked Robo up and ran for it. He heard the whistle of the fire cannon. It sounded like a firework...
"Aren't you glad you came?" a saucy girl with familiar purple hair said. "Just imagine how much you would have missed out on if you'd been training tonight!"
"I don't need to imagine. I'm looking right at it," a young lad with dark hair responded dryly. His skin was pale from the many days and nights he'd spent in the compound, training until he dropped of exhaustion. He was getting to be rather handsome, his sharp and slender features beginning to fit him.
The sky was filled with colour, fireworks whistling as they ascended before exploding in showers of brilliant light. They originated from a distant town and the joyous whoops of the people there carried to the lonely compound roof where the two students were sitting.
"So this is for..." he drifted off.
"The Fourth of July," the girl finished.
"What was it for again?"
"America declares independence from Britian? Don't you ever pay attention in class? Combat training isn't the only thing in life, you know."
The boy's cheeks coloured with pink. He tucked his legs against his chest, resting his hands on his knees. "Why should I care what happened centuries ago? It doesn't matter to me."
"It should," the girl said in a scolding tone. "They're our ancestors."
"You don't know that. We're orphans. We have no idea who our family is," he replied unhappily.
Neither said anything for a while after that, until the boy broke the silence once again.
"I wonder when we'll have our independence," he said quietly.
The girl twisted around in her seat, looking around before turning back to him with a scandalized look on her face. "Ander! You can't say that here. What if someone hears?"
He smoothed his hair back with his hands, a tormented look on his face. "They've asked me to do something and I...I don't know if I can do it."
The girl grew quiet. "They asked you to kill someone. Didn't they?"
His silence was an answer in itself.
"Ander, you have to do it. You don't have any other choice."
He groaned, pressing his hands against his temples. "I can't...I won't. They can't make me. I'll just run away."
"You can't! They'll catch you, they're too strong. You wouldn't stand a chance."
"You're right." She sighed in relief until she saw the determined look in his eyes. "But we would."
She hesitated. "We?"
His eyes were filled with a feverish light and he took her hands in his own. "Run away with me, Lilac! We can go somewhere, far from here. They can chase us but we'll be faster."
She forced herself to look away from his eyes. "I-I can't. I can't leave Iris. I'm all she has left, she needs me."
"We could take her with us! Lilac, I'd do anything," he pleaded.
"She won't go, you know she won't," she said in despair.
"Ander," she interrupted sharply. "I'm not going and there's nothing you can do to change my mind."
"Lilac, please," he whispered. "For me."
She shut her eyes tightly, holding back a sob. "I'm sorry."
When she opened her eyes again, she saw that the light had left his eyes. She slipped her hands out of his and he made no effort to stop her.
"Then there's no point in asking any further," he said, his voice empty and devoid of any emotion. He stood up, brushing his hands off on his shirt.
"Where are you going?" she asked, her heart breaking.
"To the training room," he answered flatly.
She watched him leave, her eyes following him until he closed the door. A barrier had risen between them, one that she could not climb over. As he left, she couldn't shake the feeling that she had killed something.
When Ander opened his eyes, he saw the cottage aflame.
Kenna nodded and slowly made her way to the table. With a ton of Crypta's help she was hoisted onto the table. Kenna paused, taking deep breaths, giving herself a moment
settle, to let the pain from such an action recede slightly and for the black splotches in her vision to go away.
She only allowed herself a moment, though, and laid down on the table. Goosebumps sprouted across her as her skin as it touched the cold metal surface.
Kenna's head suddenly shot towards the entrance at the sound of something like a deafening firework. But she didn't see Ander. Her heart rate spiked with worry. He was taking so long, was he okay?
"Ander should have been down here by now," Kenna whispered to Crypta, her eyebrows furrowed in concern.
Ander's ears were ringing, the sound of his own breath oddly muted. He could hear people shouting outside but it was oddly distance. His clothes were badly singed and his arms were tingling. He tried to move them and they stiffly obliged, revealing burn marks. If he hadn't had the instinct to cover his head, that could have been his face. He was being dragged across the floor and when he looked up, he saw that Robo had the collar of his shirt in his mouth.
He choked on smoke, pulling the front of his shirt over his mouth. His next breath was one of cleaner air, although not by much. He was suddenly facing a ladder, the trapdoor wide open. Painfully, he clambered down rung by rung. Once he had lost his grip and a terrible thrill went through him, but his fingers found the metal bar again and he continued his descent. When he reaced the last few rungs, he dropped and crumpled to the floor, his arms trembling and his skin raw.
He heard the bang of the trapdoor snapping shut and the click of a lock, before Robo whizzed down the ladder and landed neatly at his feet. He let his head lie on the cool concrete floor, closing his eyes with a groan.
They were alive. Kenna turner her head back to face the ceiling and let out a relieved sigh. They were alive. For some reason it made a chuckle rise out of her, but immediately she winced at the pain searing through her side. Her body heat had quickly warmed the metal table she was laying on leaving her without the coolness to help relieve the pain.
Robo frantically whined and nudged his side, pawing at him to get some reaction. Ander sat up, his arms nearly giving out. He patted Robo on the head. "Thanks buddy. Couldn't have done it without you."
That bothered him. He had always been to handle himself and get out of dangerous situations alive. Why was he suddenly helpless now? He stumbled to his feet, pressing a hand against the wall for balance.
He saw Kenna, lying on the table. Pale and still. He rushed over to her, resting his arms on the metal table to keep himself steady. Cryota gasping softly. "Andy, your arms."
"I'm fine," he insisted, turning his attention to Kenna. He smiled at her, his skin dirty from smoke and dust. But his eyes were just the same. He brushed a strand of hair away from her face. "You were brave back there."
Kenna felt her spirits rise with Ander's presence. Her eyes fluttered closed for a moment at his comforting touch. "It didn't feel like it," she whispered. She opened her eyes to look at him with a small smile. Everything was starting to get hazy, as if she might fall unconscious any moment. "But thank you."
As she slipped away her vision became splotchy with dark spots. She struggled to keep her head up and her arms fell limp. The pressure she was applying to the bullet wound vanished and blood began pouring out. Everything was too much and she blacked out, still alive, but unconscious.
Log in to post or Get your free account