Accursed Self-Sacrifice

I was livid. I swore a few times, glancing between the Premiere & the twins. They’d turned deathly pale, their eyes wide.

“It’s not worth it!” I shouted. I tried to charge him, but he pointed the barrel in my face.

“Back up,” he hissed. He kept it trained on me, & turned to the twins. “Well? What do you say? Success must have a price, you know.”

The next moments seemed to go in close-up slow motion.  I could see every bead of sweat clinging to Ezra’s scuffed forehead, Lily’s chest frantically rise and fall, the faint glint in the Premiere’s eyes.

Finally, Ezra stepped forward. “A life for a life,” he said solemnly, bowing his head. “For the Resistance.”

“Ezra, no!” Lily shrieked, clinging to her brother. She was too upset for tears to slide down her light face. “Is it really worth it?”

He held his sister by the shoulders.  “Lily, think about it. So many have gone before us to see this moment.  Patrick even gave up his life to get to this moment. If the Resistance is a cause noble enough for Pat to lose his life, it’s noble enough for me.”

“Well then, if you’re going, then I’m going.”

What? No, Lily, you have to keep going…”

“To hell with that!  If it’s noble enough for you and Patrick, it’s noble enough for me.  Besides, I can’t make it without you.  You know that.”

Ezra sighed, then smiled faintly as he tousled her hair. “You always were a stubborn one, weren’t you?”

“Not stubborn. Loyal. There’s a difference, you know.”

“That there is.” They turned to face the stunned Premiere.

“B-both of you?” he stammered.

“It’s a double or nothing deal, Henry,” Lily said.  “For the Resistance.”

“Some stipulations,” Ezra continued.  “First: as soon as we’re gone you must step down.  Paulie'll make sure of that.  Second, Paulie’s in charge. Paulie, you know what to do.”

I nodded, shaky.  I couldn’t believe what they were doing.

“Y-you sure?” the Premiere stuttered. He seemed more nervous than the twins.

“Positive,” they answered together.

“Paulie.”  Ezra made the Resistance signal & nodded in salute.  "Best of luck to you."  Lily did the same, smiling sadly.

I returned the nod, crossing my fingers on the left hand and curling my fingers around the right fist.

It was for the good of the Resistance.

The End

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