Chapter 25

Everyone stands around the table; Cara has gone to great lengths and risk to retrieve a map of the refinery.  Everyone studies the map intensely, all except Fiona, between headings off for the map and now Cara has heavily sedated her with medication.  Whenever I see Fiona sleep I think of a child, she is so young, full of life and fight.  Each passing hour brings her closer back to me, back to herself.  For now she must remain in her dreams, where she can fight, where she can defeat what has been done to her.  I long to her, but there is nothing I can do, this battle she must fight on her own.

            “Does anyone have any ideas on how to get in?” I ask my bringing my attention back to the map.

            “The refineries usually have underground tunnels; servants use them to get to and from work.” Sebastian says, “If we enter through there we should be able to get in undetected.” 

            “Once inside we should set charges in the storage house, the main line, and plant command center.” Elizabeth says.

            “What about the people, are we going to just blow the place with them in it.” Guy says.

            “No, we will have to get them out before we can blow it.” I say, “How long will that take.”

            “If we wait to the night shift we can probably get everyone out in twenty minutes or so, but that depends if there is resistance or not.” Cara says.

            “Ok, whatever happens we need to get everyone out before we detonate, so we should expect to have to hold for as long as that takes.” I say, “Ok, Sebastian and Guy take care of the explosives in the storage house.”  I quickly glance over everyone, “Dyami and Elizabeth can you handle the main line, Cara and I will deal with the command center.

            “No I will go with him.” Fiona says, “Together right, well at least I think I didn’t dream that.”  I turn to see Fiona rise from the couch; she must have woken up during while we were going over things, “That makes three groups of two as far as I can tell.”

            “How are you feeling?” Cara asks.

            “Better, things are still hazing, but most of it has cleared up.” Fiona says, “Another day or two of whatever you gave me and I should be back to normal.” 

            “You know I never really thought you were normal to start with.” Dyami says, “I mean after all you did like Riley.”  All at once everyone shifts from the map to Fiona and me.

            “Well I guess I was crazy long before the Brotherhood got a hold of me.” Fiona says teasing me with her eyes.

            “Wait you two are a couple.” Elizabeth says, “I mean like a real one.”

            “Holy crap, did was Velvets dying wish that you continue her pestering.” Fiona says, she can only assume Velvet is dead, truth is we don’t know.

            “Can we focus here?” I asks, “If that is ok with everyone.”  After a few more jokes I mange to return everyone’s attention back to the map.

            “We should have Cara work on getting the people out, once we plant the explosives we should take up a defensive position here.” Fiona says pointing to a spot near the entrance;”Once everyone is out we blow the place and escape street side.”

            “Then we meet back here.” I say, “Does anyone have any questions?” I pause a moment, “Good we will meet back here at five.”  The scene is reminiscent of the days back in Haven.  One by one everyone leaves until Fiona and I are once again left only, only we aren’t back in Haven and though better Fiona is still not totally clear on the truth, “It is good to see you are getting back to normal.”

            “Thanks, even with the medicine it is hard to remember what really happened.” Fiona says.  Sitting at the table Fiona pushes out the chair next to her, “sit with me.”

            “You sure?” I ask.

            “It is ok, even before I was everything I wasn’t sure as to what exactly was going on, now I have no clue.” Fiona says, “All I know is when you are around I feel better.”  Shifting the seat to face her I sit down.  Fiona leans her elbows onto the table, cocking her head in my direction she rests in against her forearm.

            “We can figure it out once everything is done.” I say.

            “We always say that, but it never seems to be done.” Fiona says.

            “Ok, why don’t we take it one day at a time?” I say.

            “That sounds good.” Fiona says placing her open hand on the table smiling slightly.  Taking the hint I adjust my position and lean against the table placing my hand din hers.  We sit there in silence, for me the silence is welcome; a moment like this has been long in coming.

            Finally the time has come for us to move out.  Fiona and I were able to spend most of the day together; mostly we talked about simple things, things she wanted to get straight, about what was real and what was a dream.  Having still been in my uniform I take the time to outfit Fiona, “So how do I look.” Fiona says.

            “You look good, ready to fight.” I say, “A true Bruised and Battered Bustard of Eden.” 

            “I see Fiona is up and ready.” Elizabeth says entering the hiding passageway; the others should be here any moment.”  One by one the others arrive all are ready for the mission.  Heading into the streets of district six we aren’t above ground for long when we reach the entrance to the tunnels.  Most people have already returned home for dinner, the streets to the servant sector are almost completely empty.  We slip in undetected, as we make our way towards the refinery there is a feeling creeping down my spine, I can’t help but feel that everything has gone way too easy. 

            Soon we arrive, breaking off into our groups Fiona and I head for the command center.  The center its self is a small room, controlling the production of oil for the facility.  Moving into position against the door we prepare to enter, “Ok once in you keep an eye out I will set the explosives.” Fiona says, “On the count of three.” On three we rush the room taking the three workers by surprise.”

            “Don’t move.” I yell.

            “What is going on?

            “Go get out of here, run now.” I say, “Don’t tell anyone we are here.”  Watching the door it takes Fiona only a few minutes to set the explosives.  Once the explosives are set we head for the rally point as planned, we are the first to arrive, taking cover we wait for the others.  Shortly after us Guy and Sebastian arrive.  All at once the element of surprise flashes away as the sirens blast into action.  Dyami and Elizabeth dart into their positions.

            “We have company.” Elizabeth says, “We ran into a group of guards on away way here.”  No sooner do they finish the update then rounds start to ping of the metal as they fly past, “We need to blow the place.”

            “No, we have to wait for Cara; we have to be sure everyone is out.” I say.  Fiona returns fire, we don’t have much time, soon troopers will be here, and we will be out gunned.”

            “I thought you like to be out gunned.” I say.

            “Good point.” Fiona says, “But considering the last time we were almost killed maybe it is time we change up the game plan.” 

            “Ok, we will hold for as long as we can, if Cara doesn’t show we blow the place and get out.” I say.  Returning fire I catch a glimpse of several land runners driving towards the refinery.  Making short work of the refinery guards we prepare for the far more experience trooper assault.  I watch as each group opens up on the approaching troopers, a single volley from Sebastian manages to hit drop two troopers.  As reinforcements arrive the amount of fire we are receiving starts to intensify.  Having found cover the troopers begin to exchange fire with us, similar to the battle back in Haven.   

            “We need to get out of here.” Guy says.

            “Just a few more minutes.” I say. Returning fire I catch a glimpse of a round metallic object fly through the air, landing feet away from Sebastian and Guy.  There is nothing I can do as the grenade comes to stop feet away from them.  In a flash they are down, Guy having taking most of the blast lays on the ground his corpse a tattered remain of what it used to be.  Sebastian is down, but alive.

            “Cover me.” Elizabeth say, darting from her cover to Sebastian, “Damn it, he is bad.”

            “How bad?” Fiona asks, “Can we move him?”  Turning my head I can see Elizabeth is placing her entire weight upon Sebastian’s leg.  There is nothing she can do to stop the flow of blood from his body.

            “Everyone get down, I am going to blow it.” I yell.  I press the detonator without taking my own advice to get down; I can feel the heat of the explosion the shockwave sends me flying against my cover.  The world spins from the blow, my ears are ringing.  I shake my head as I try to focus in on Fiona she is yelling, slowly my senses come back to me and I am able to make out what she is saying.

            “Are you ok?” Fiona yells, “We have to get out of here.”  Holding out my arm Fiona drags me behind her as I regain my stability.  We only manage to make it a few hundred meters before we are intercepted by incoming fire.  My world still a blur I watch as Fiona returns fire, Dyami and Elizabeth make their way to us and join in the fight.

            “Sebastian isn’t coming; there was nothing I could do.” Elizabeth says staring down at me, “What is wrong with him.”

            “He hit his head; he will be fine in a moment.” Fiona says.  Slowly the gunfire becomes louder as my hearing and my awareness return to me, “Anyone have any bright ideas?”  We are surrounded, fire comes from all directions.  Pulling my mask off I hold my head, blood drips from my ears, “Ok, here is what we are going to do, we will take turns suppressing and bounding back into the refinery.”

            “Are you crazy that place is ablaze, we won’t last five minutes in there.” Elizabeth says.

            “I would love to hear it if you have a better idea.” Fiona says, “No that is what I thought.” Trying to stand everything around my starts to spin, it takes all my effort not to fall over.

            “You are going have to help me.” I say.  Fiona places her arm undermine and around my back.

            “Ok, cover us.” Fiona says as we run back towards the burning refinery.  Once in position she turns and fires, “Ok go.”  Soon we have exchanged the troopers for the intense flames of the refinery.  Fiona carries me as best she can but soon I am too much for her, we both collapse to the ground.

            “Go, leave me, you have to get out of here.” I say.

            “No, I just got you back.” Fiona says, “I am not leaving you.”

            “You can’t make it with me; I will only slow you down.” I say, “Get out of here doesn’t be crazy.”

            “You’re telling the wrong person not to be crazy.” Fiona says the building is starting to come down around us.  If we wait any longer we will all be dead.

            “Fiona, go.” I say, “I am not worth dying for.”

            “To me you are.” Fiona says, “You two go, we are staying.”

            “Like hell we are, together that is not just your motto now, it is all of ours.” Elizabeth says, “We are get out of this mess, or we all go down.”  Fiona kneels beside me wrapping her arms around my body.  Dyami and Elizabeth look towards us, there hopes and dreams about to come to an end.  We hold on for as long as we can, eventually the smoke must have gotten to us.  We were lucky though, the rescue team got to us before the smoke could do more than knock us out.

            Tired to the chair it is hard to tell if it is night or day, the room would be completely dark if not for the single lamp above my head.  Davidson paces before me, “Well, I bet you thought you were smart.” Davidson says, “Thought you could take me down.” Using the momentum as he pivots towards me he buries his fist in my stomach, “You killed Kazimir, he was a weasel, thought he was pulling one over on me, but just as he used everyone I used him.”  Davison lifts my head by the hair forcing me to stair eye to eye with him; I guess I should thank you for that.

            “You welcome.” I say getting off a smile before Davidson wraps me square across the jaw.  Blood trickles down my lips, I watch as each drop of my very life falls to the ground.

            “You will break, we have methods.” Davidson says.

            “You mean like what you did to Fiona.” I say.

            “Not this time we want you to feel each and every moment this time.” Davidson says.  Belting me across the face several times until my face starts to swell, slowly becoming a bloody mess.

            “So how does it feel to see I am continuing my father’s legacy?” I ask.  This sends Davidson into a fury.  He beats me till I am barely conscience.

            “I think you have had enough for now, maybe I will go work on you dear Fiona a bit.” Davidson says leaving the room.  Soon after he leaves two guards enter, dragging me back to a cell I am tossed in with no care.  My body hits the ground hard, Dyami runs over as soon as they are gone.  Looking at him it is clear he has not been spared the wrath of Davidson.

            “You look like crap.” I say.

            “You should talk.” Dyami says, “Have you seen any of the others?”

            “No, I was too busy getting close and personal with Davidson’s fists.” I say.

            “I can tell.” Dyami says. 

            “What do you think they are going to do with us?” I ask.

            “Probably execute us as an example.” Dyami says, “I don’t even think you status amongst the people can prevent that now.”  Days pass and there is not sign of the others, all we can do is sit and wait.  Is this really how it all ends, after everything we have been through, everything we had survived, I am going to die wasting away in a dark cell tucked away from the world.  Finally after what seems to be a week the doors to our cell fly open.  Davidson enters followed by several guards.

            “Well today is the big day, time for you to see your adoring public.” Davidson says.  It takes the guards no time in our weakened state to secure us and begin to long walk to my adoring public as Davidson calls it.  Along the way we meet up with Fiona and Elizabeth, they too show the signs of abuse and neglect.  My eyes meet with Fiona’s, I try to reach for her but as I do I feel the sting of a rifle butt, “I can’t believe I actually thought you and Mrs. Cassidy were together.”  It is strange in this moment but I feel a small victory in the fact that I was finally able to pull something over on somebody.

            As we enter into the daylight it burns my eyes, after being in the dark for so long the sun has come to mean death.  Thousands of servants stand by as we are dragged through the streets, dragged to the center of district six.  Guards patrol the outside of the crowd, apparently this event is mandatory.  Finally we are lead to a stand; this stand has recently been constructed for today, for your execution.  Taking his place atop the stage Davidson begins, “These rebels have tried to destroy our way of life, they were not happy with the way things were.” Davidson says, “Today we show all of Eden what happens to rebels, bring on the first one.”  The guards drag Elizabeth to the stage and strap her to a post facing the crowd, “Is there anything you want to say before you die.”

            “Yeah, go to hell you bastard.” Elizabeth says.  The gunshot resounds through district amongst the gasps and screams of its people.  Quickly and quietly the guards untie Elizabeth’s body and remove it from the stage.

            “Bring on the next rebel, the one who thought he was more than a servant.” Davidson says.  The guards drag Dyami to the stage, he doesn’t even bother to fight, he goes with dignity, and he stands strong as they tie him to the post, “Is there anything you want to say before you die.”

            “Yeah, you are wrong, I will die more than a servant, and I die free.”  The crowd begins to cheer as the execution squeezes the trigger. Dyami’s lifeless body slumps as the people continue to chant the words free.  Several of the guards in the crowd begin to move in striking anyone that gets in their way with the butts of their rifles.

            It takes several minutes, but finally the crowd is brought back under control.  Several servants lay on the ground, they don’t even bother to move them.  They are a sign to remind everyone to behave.  Everything is Eden is a message, no one says anything or does a thing without figuring out what it means, this is the way of things in Eden.

            “Well wasn’t that a show.” Davidson says, “I think I will kill this one myself, bring the girl.”  My heart drops as Fiona is brought to the stage.  I watch as she is tied to the post there helpless, capable only of watching as Fiona dies.  I struggle for the first time against my shackles, but there is nothing I can do, nothing but watch as my entire world comes crashing down.

            “Davidson you bastard, you will die for this.” I yell.  Turning to face me Davidson makes his way down off the stage.  Walking over to me he leans in, “It is ironic you know.” Davidson says, “Watching the person you care about most in the world die, just like you father watched you mother die.”  Spitting in Davidson’s face he strikes me across the head with the pistol, blood begins to pour into my eyes blinding me.

            This isn’t over, you may kill us, but there will be more, people like me will always rise up.” I say.

            “And I will always be here to shoot them down.” Davidson says.  Moments later I hear the words I have been dreading, the worlds Davidson has utter twice before today, “Is there anything you want to say before you die.”

            “Riley, I love you.”  I want to say the words back, only I can’t find them.  I can’t even see her face; look into her eyes one last time.  There is nothing I can do, I lose my strength and collapse to the ground.  There is a long pause before the gunshot echoes through the district.

The End

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