Chapter 9


            My mind goes back to the day in the Wastes, the day I met Fiona and Velvet, how they came from no ware and saved me from death.  That was the day my life changed up until that point I was alone in this world.  A Waster with nothing to live for, tonight in Hyde mansion that life comes to an end.  I am no longer a lone Waster who has nothing to live for not to stand up for.  Tonight I stand up; tonight I am someone who fights, someone who has friends to support him. 

            Randall’s blood spatters Hyde’s face, from the look on his eye it is easy to see he has never been one for the dirty work, which explains why he usually has goons do it for him.  Unclear as to what exactly has happened except for the feeling that once again Fiona and Velvet have saved my life I lunge forward towards Hyde.  We tumble over his desk and crash upon the floor behind it.  Immediately I gain dominance over his body and begin to rain my fist down upon his face.  All he can do is struggle with all his strength to push me off of him; he is too fat, to slow.  Within seconds his is out cold.  My attention now turns to the two who were guarding Dyami, both have been taken out by Fiona or Velvet, maybe both I do not know, all I care about is that we are all safe and it is over.

            My eyes quickly take in the scene, Randall’s body upon the floor lifeless, the two guards with the hands behind their hands and of course Hyde’s bloody unconscious body flung about the floor.  My mind is racing, not sure if it really happened or if I dreamt it in the final moments of my life.  I do the only thing my mind can manage in its current state, laugh.

            “Not Bad.” Velvet says, “We make a pretty good team.”

            “Yeah, I guess we do.” Fiona says with a smile.

            “Ok, let’s get him locked up.” I say, “Then we can figure out what we are going to do.”

            “Roger that, Captain.” Velvet says, as she gives a smirk and a sort of half salute.

            Fiona and Velvet round off the guards and Hyde leaving Dyami and myself alone in Hyde’s office, “You ok.” I ask.

            “I’m fine.” He says, clearly shook up from the events the just took place.

            “You can get some sleep if you want.” I say, “Its ok we got things here.”

            “No.” Dyami says, he pauses a moment while he regains his constitution, “No, I’m good.”  Dyami walks over to the book, he stares a moment then picks it, “So much trouble over such a small thing.” 

            “You should read it.” I say.

            Dyami of all people should read the book, he has suffered more than anyone, and it is strange.  Even in paradise people suffer.  People are getting fat off of others suffering.  Well that is going to change around here; starting tomorrow Haven is going back to the people.  What other choice we have, I mean after living here my whole life; I know I don’t want it.  My mind begins to drift as I stare out the window and look down upon Haven.  Looking out the window I can’t help but feel better then the people below, I know I am not, but be up above everyone has that effect on a person.  It makes me wonder if Hyde started out trying to help people, trying to do right by them, but lost his way as time when on.  I find myself thinking about the future of Haven, what will they decide, will they join the Brotherhood, will they refuse.

            “Velvet, is going to take first watch, we found a place down in the basement.” Fiona’s voice brings me back from my mind. 

            “Good, what do we do now?” I ask.

            “Don’t look at me, my revolution failed.” Fiona says.

            Was that what this was, a revolution? No, I was just fighting to protect my friend.  I don’t want to change things, it’s not my place.  Though I guess it was, and tomorrow the people decide.

            “Tomorrow we spread the world for people to gather in the square at noon, we will hand Hyde over and let the people decide his and their fate.” I say.

            “So that is it then, after tomorrow we wash our hands of this.”  Fiona says.

            My eyes turn back to the window, it seems strange we went through all this trouble, but this has been my plan all along, I am not a leader. “Yes.”

            “Riley, it won’t matter what the people decide, the Brotherhood will come, either by force or not, they will come.” Dyami says.

            “Then we all leave.” I say.

            “You don’t have too.” I cut Fiona off.

            “No, friends stick together, I think tonight proved we are stronger together then apart.” I say.

            Fiona is taken back by this “Who said we were friends.”

            I turn back to Fiona, “I did.” I say as I walk over and extend my hand.

            Fiona takes my hand, once again there is that feeling, as if this simple handshake is so much more than that and once again she too feels it, only this time she cannot hide behind her mask, her face is red. 

            “Hey Fiona we should check the rest of the building.” Velvet says, entering the room.  The look upon meaning behind Fiona’s face is clear as day to Fiona, “Actually, I think I will take Dyami.”  You have to give it to Velvet she sure knows how to turn a moment of awkwardness into a full blown situation.  As I watch them leave the room I can’t help but get the feeling that Velvet has been looking for the moment to leave Fiona and myself alone.  My eyes turn back to Fiona who has moved to the window.  Her hair drifts over her shoulders and down her back.  Her small frame is dwarfed in the window.  If one didn’t know her they would think she was frail and helpless in this world.  I admire her in this moment; she must have fought everyday of her life to get where she is, only to throw it all away for something she believed in. 

            “Do you think people long ago, before the bombs looked out this window?” Fiona asks.

            “Yeah, I am sure they did; only back then none of this was there.” I say, “There was no Wasteland, just wilderness.”

            “It must have been beautiful; I wonder what I would be doing now if the bombs never fell.” Fiona says.

            “There is no point in thinking about it, we can’t change the past, and all we can do is look forward to the future.” I say placing my hand on her shoulder.

            Then Fiona does something I would never have thought she was capable of, she places her hand on mine.  “So what do you think tomorrow will bring.” She says.

            “I don’t know, all we can do is wait and see.” I say

            Fiona turns towards me and our eyes meet only this time they don’t shy away, they are locked.  I sense her body move towards mine and as for me I feel the urge to respond.  My mind knows where this will lead, but I don’t want it to stop, I think back to before, about asking for permission was she saying something, do I have permission now, or am I about to get belted again, no this is different, we move closer together, our faces, lips are only inches apart.  Then it happens.

            From outside the room we hear the sound of the table being knocked over.  Instantly we draw away from each other.  Our attention now focused on Velvet and the ever clumsy Dyami.  “Sorry, we didn’t want to interrupt, it was just so precious.  Velvet says, “It brings a tear to the eye.”

            “It was like one of those old picture films they have back in Eden.” Dyami says trying not to burst into a full laugh. 

            With that Fiona turns bright red, giving me a look as she storms out the door, as if it was might fault.  Fiona practically knocks over Velvet and Dyami as she plows through.  Part of me thinks I should go after her but fearing further beatings I decide it will be best to leave her alone till morning. 

            “You guys are jerks.” I say.

            “Sorry, it was her idea.” Dyami says pointing to Velvet.

            “Thanks for the support.” Velvet says, “For that you can go watch the prisoners.”

            “Hey, who said you can tell me what to do?” Dyami protests, but withdraws his dissatisfaction once everyone starts to stare. 

            “Cause I outrank you.” Velvet says, “You see Riley is in charge, then Fiona only because she is his girlfriend, then me, and finally you.”

            “She is not my girlfriend.” I say, “Fine, since I am in charge you both go watch the prisoners.”

            “Damn, that backfired.” Velvet says and with that they head down to the basement.  For the first time I am left alone.  Which I have to admit is rather strange; a few days ago I couldn’t stand being with people, now I kind of miss having people around.  Looking around the room I notice the stark contrast to the rest of Haven.  Hyde has spent years living in luxury, I mean it is nothing compared to that of the Brotherhood, but still it is grand when one compares it to Haven.  Does everyone in power get rich off of the severing and pain of those below them?  Making my way over to Hyde desk I think about all the days and years I spent in the Wastes risking my life while Hyde was getting rich off of my efforts.  Taken a seat in his chair I get a glimpse of the power he held.  It feels good to sit here and look upon the room.  My eyes draw to Velvet as she enters the doorway.

            “Hey, you got a minute.” She says.

            I nod my head signaling her to enter the room, for a brief moment I allow myself to feel as Hyde did, but only for a moment. “You don’t have to ask permission to talk to me, were friends.” I say.

            “I want to talk to you about tonight and what is going to happen.” She says, “I know no matter what happens tomorrow you have decided that we are to stick together.”

            “The Brotherhood is going to come no matter what, we have to run, and I won’t be there pawn.” I say.

            “That is why we are putting our faith in you.” Velvet says which is strange to hear, I don’t think anyone has ever put their faith in me, “There is something about you, people trust you, the like you, they care about you.  It become clear she is not talking about everyone when she says we.

            “I never asked for this.” I say.

            “Great leaders never do, instead they are chosen.” She says, “Like we chose you.”

            “You don’t have to say we; I know you are referring to Fiona.” I say.

            “Look, she is tuff, on the outside, like everyone in this world she puts up a strong wall for protecting. She says, “But if you she lets you past that wall, you can never leave.  Do you understand that, she will never recover; she will never let anyone in again.

            “She has you.” I say.

            “She doesn’t need me, she can survive without me, both of you can.” Velvet says.

            I pause a moment before speaking, “Fact is, Fiona and I are the same.

            “I know which is why you need each other.” Velvet says, “Just promise you will try not to hurt each other.

            “I will.” I say.

            “Good, I better go check on Dyami.” She says and turns to leave the room.  As she passes the doorway she stops and turns back towards me, “Oh and when I said we chose you to lead, I meant all of us.”

Once again I am left to my thoughts, I never did ask for any of this.  All I wanted was to return to my life.  Once again become a Waster trying to survive each day one at a time.  I never wanted to have to care for anyone but myself, but as I’ve said before.  I have only one option move forward and don’t look back.

The End

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