Lilia’s Shadow: Chapter 12
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Before anyone could comment on Druid’s shocking statement, She straightened with a glazed look in her eyes. “Hold on to something.” Then with more force. “Now!!!”

Everyone grabbed onto something, a few seconds later, everything trembled violently.

Rachel had to close her eyes to keep out the dust and debris, trying to block out the screams and the cries of pain and fear. It was awful; it felt like being trapped in a cookie jar, while a child came along and shook it with all his strength

Rachel couldn't do anything; what kind of cop was she? She couldn't help anyone, no one, not even herself. All she could do was hold on and pray that it would be over soon. It was so frustrating.

A couple of minutes passed before she realized that everything had stopped, only the whispering of the hurt and scared remained. It was only when a big hand clasped on her trembling shoulders that she looked up to see Statson staring right back at her.

The big man whispered in her ear, “This is no place to breakdown, Girly, scream your little heart out when this is over, hell I might even join you, but right now we need you, okay? There are a lot of frightened people here that need us to be strong. You got me?”

Rachel nodded, wiped away her tears, stood up and straightened her back. “Yes, Sergeant,” she said with conviction.

“Good, Girly,” he said, brushing the dust off his hat, and when finished setting it back on top of his head.

Then Statson turned towards Bryson and Druid.  “Right now, I don't care if you are blue aliens trying to have a spot of tea in the Stanley Cup. If you have a plan, let’s hear it.”

“What is a Stanley Cup?” whispered Druid.“It is a trophy that a team receives for being the best at a certain sport. It was quite popular before the war, involving ice and sticks,” Bryson said dismissively.

“Aahhh,” Druid said, still a little bit confused.

“I am not going to argue with you about the greatest pastime that was ever created, so what is this damn plan?” Statson growled back.

“First, we need the locations of the cameras,” stated Bryson.

“So, you noticed them, too?” Statson asked.

“Obviously,” Bryson answered like it was the stupidest question in the world.

Statson pulled out a piece of paper out of his hat. “Already ahead of you, Ice Boy, I marked down all the cameras I could find. I had an odd feeling and wanted to investigate further, but all this happened.” Statson waved his hand around to empathize with the mess they were already in. “Can’t say for sure if we missed any.”

Bryson bristled at being called ‘Ice Boy.’ Druid, on the other hand, had a delighted smile on her face. Bryson moved to stand with his back to the wall using Statson as a shield, after taking the papers. “It will have to do. Block the cameras for me that’s a good man,” Bryson replied, condescendingly. “First. we need to disable the cameras..."

He balled up his fists, then breathed into them. A mist settled around his hands, barely visible, then he released it. It grew bigger and bigger until it filled up the whole room, just below the camera line.

Rachel breathed in and out. She could see her breath; she couldn't help the wonderment that crept into her eyes.

This was a Lumeye’s power. Magic, Rachel thought in awe.

And with a sweep of Bryson’s hand, the mist surrounded the cameras, freezing them in its wake.

“Well, that’s some nifty trick you pulled off, Ice Boy,” Statson said, not sounding impressed at all; he was in the Lumeye war, after all. Statson must have seen it all.  Bryson looked miffed at being called ‘Ice Boy’ …again. “So, do you have another trick like how to get out of here?”        

“If it was just us," He touched Druid's shoulder. "Easily. But with these many witnesses...hmmm, people,” he corrected when Druid elbowed him in the shoulder. “Then we need a bit of… discretion.”

“Come on now, boy, unless you or the Red Princess knows how to work with stone, then we have some issues.” Statson knocked on a nearby stone wall to make a point.

“Yes, that is correct,” Bryson said dismissively. “I am not talking about Druid. Do you really think that we are the only ones here? You know that Lumeye works in groups, and we are no different.”

“Do we have the time to argue who is Big Dog?” Druid asked with boredom and borderline annoyance. “I already sent a message to Terran… he works with the earth,” Druid added for Statson’s and Rachel’s benefit. "He’s positioned outside, so be ready.”

“Terran?” asked Rachel.

“One of our backups,” Druid answered. Rachel wanted to ask more questions but now wasn’t the time.                                                                                                        

“Whenever you do your thing, we will do ours, Girly,” Statson called out.

He stepped towards the still-panicked crowd. “Ha, you bunch of pansies!” he yelled at the group. “It is time to stop clawing at the door like crazed animals. We are all getting out of here.”

An angry man, with a red face, said, “See here, do you know who I am?”

“I don't care if you are the leader of the free world. Sit down and shut up, because if you don't, I am authorized to stop this madness anyway possible,” Statson commanded, his hand drifting towards his gun.

The man obeyed, putting his hands up in surrender. That quieted the crowd. “That is better… you,” he pointed to someone at random. “You help me with the injured, you, guide the......” he began directing the crowd; his experience of taking charge was evident.

Rachel started to help here and there, trying to get people away from the walls, helping the injured when everyone was settled.

 She was waiting for the signal from Bryson and Druid.

“Get ready,” whispered Druid, which made Rachel jumped.

“You startled me,” Rachel said, brushing her dark brown hair away from her face.

“It wasn't my intention. I am merely stating that we must act soon, or we won’t survive.”

“I thought all Lumeye....” Rachel was stopped by Druid's finger on her lips, resulting in a blush. Druid was beautiful, especially up close.

She nodded towards the crowd of people that was within hearing. Rachel blushed even brighter with her slip up.

“We are not indestructible, just different, and we can die very easily,” Druid said with ruefulness, her eyes distant.

“Why are you helping us?” Rachel blurted out. “Why? As Bryson said, you could have just left. You have no reason to help any of us.”

“Yes, that is true, except when my...” Druid paused. “It is time. Get ready. There is a high chance that this will go wrong. Terran says that the ground is highly unstable, and the castle is sliding slowly into the sea.”

“The sea?? How are you talking to...?”

“It is happening.”

“What?”

The room started to shake, just enough to be noticeable. It wasn't as bad as the last one.

Then suddenly, trees and rocks burst through the wall. They branched further before melting into the surrounding walls and the floor.

“Wastelands! The Wastelands are coming to kill us!” Someone screamed out. Panic arose again.

Statson yelled over the panic. “Shut the hell up. If we are still alive, we certainly have enough time to get the hell out of here.”

Rachel turned to Druid. “Terran?”

“Yes.” Druid nodded her head in confirmation. “Disguising it as a Wasteland attack smart.” She bit her lip in concern. “He can’t keep this up for long. He is wasting too much power.”

“It’s a very idiotic plan. Even someone with an ounce of musical intelligence would know that this is no Wasteland attack.” Bryson sneaked up behind them. Startling Rachel. He deliberately made sure that he separated Druid and Rachel.

 “In this panicked crowd? Who will ever know?” Druid swept her hand.

“You can,” Bryson whispered in a loving tone.

Druid justed smiled back.

“In any case.” Bryson looked a little uncomfortable with a blush on his face. Ah, that’s kind of cute. “Maybe Terran’s actions might be helpful.”

“What do you mean?” Rachel asked.

Bryson slowly turned toward her and the look like she was an idiot. “Listen, you…”

Okay, it’s not cute anymore.

Before Bryson could continue, Druid interrupted. “What he meant was that the Wastelands is coming. The sooner we get out of here, there sooner we are safe.”

Then someone shouted, “Hey, there are cracks in the wall. I see daylight. We can get out!! We can get out!”

Everyone cheered.

Rachel could hear Statson shouting, “No pushing, the injured must be helped out first... no pushing.”

But eventually, they got everyone out, except for Bryson, Druid, Statson and herself. Even their chaperone was outside.

“Well, it’s time to get the heck out of here.” Statson started heading towards the crack.

Rachel began to follow but stopped when there was a nagging feeling that she had forgotten something. “Where is Major Hatten?” She didn’t see him going outside like the others.

“Right here.”

Rachel and the others turned to see Major Hatten and four other guards with guns at the ready, and a bomb strapped to his chest.

“‘He’ wanted me to die? Is that it? That bastard planned this from the beginning?” Major Hatten mumbled to himself. He wasn’t paying attention to them. He was looking down in a daze, at his bomb strapped chest.

Rachel froze, her thoughts screaming, Oh God, we’re all going to die!

“If that’s the case, then at least I get to kill a couple of thorns in my side,” Major Hatten said, looking up at Statson and Rachel with a crazed look in his eyes. “Oh, and Weatherly’s star pets. Too bad, I thought I could have used you.” When he said that, Major Hatten was looking directly at Druid, and it wasn’t difficult to comprehend what he meant by that. Creepy bastard. He turned back to Rachel and Statson. “Drop your weapons. Now!”

At Statson’s nod, Rachel placed her gun gently on the floor. Statson followed suite.

“Now, now, don't be hasty.” Statson held out his hands, trying to be as non-threatening as possible. “There is no need for violence. We can all walk out of here, alive and well.” His eyes weren’t on Major Hatten but on the guards behind him.

The guards lowered their rifles and look at each other uncertainly.

Major Hatten laughed hysterically. “If that man wants me dead, I’m already dead. I have nothing to lose. Do you think anyone of us can escape from him? Better die here than become one of his experiments.”

That seemed to convince them. The guards raised their guns once again.

Rachel looked on in disbelief. What are they so afraid that death was the only option?

Rachel tried to concentrate on the madman. She really did, but she noticed that one of the guards had the most beautiful cyan eyes. Those eyes were staring right back at her.

How could he have those eyes? I only know one person with those eyes.

            

***       

Tawa

 

In one of the high-rise buildings, a computer screen went static. “Boss. the screen.” A man in front of the computer screen turned towards the man in the suit. “That’s the last camera, all of them are static.”

“It doesn’t matter,” the man in the suit answered. “As long as the building goes down as planned, everything else is fixable.”

“Did Major Hatten realize you double-crossed him?”

“If he didn’t before, he certainly does now. That fool. Hope he likes the present I left for him.” He paused. “Right now, I’m more interested in other…elements.”

On the computer were pictures of Bryson, Druid, Statson, Rachel and others scattered across it.

Sorry for the late chapters had to repair my computer.

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