97 Days Until Signals And the Uncertain End (part 3)
Heia had just gotten her camera back for Lynx, when the door to their flat burst open to reveal the faces of soldiers. Guns pointed at them, Heia placed her camera down and held her hands up. Her eyes darted to her sister who was starring at the computer with her hands up. They had been live, but they had to check their equipment. Lynx had just sent over all the existing footage to Uly and Europa, saving it in three places. There was a chance they would get out of this without losing anything, other than their lives.
Heia could not help but find comedy in the fact that their lives may be forfeit. She had know that was a possibility with her speech and the protest. She had known it would happen. Starring at these soldiers, she knew none of them were the ones who had seen her earlier. They had been followed. They were not safe. And she was likely to die. She she also knew that there was no way these soldiers didn’t know who she was. She could only hope they had heard the message and refused to take their lives. She hoped that they would bring them in.
“Heia.” The soldier’s commanding officer looked at her. “Trace. Robee.”
“Took you long enough.” Heia smiled, trying to gain control of the situation, trying to remind them that she was a person. “Thought you were slacking off.”
“You would not believe the panic you gave Mr. Penn with your disappearance.” The officer’s voice was quick, thick of malice, and commanding.
“Really? And here I thought you were here because of the riot.” She pushed her luck, seeing just how far it would go. She was not sure what had happened. She saw online that there were fires, and people freaking out. Other cities were rioting. They did not have much contact with the outside world, but Europa had given them an overview.
“Collect everything.” The officer ordered and immediately the three were contained. As the restraints went around her wrists, Heia breathed easy. They were not going to disappear. Just the idea that she had another day on the Earth and more chances to fight made her relax. She could get through this, and she would no longer press her luck.
Their cameras were destroyed. The computer was too. They were blind folded and gagged. The last image that Heia had of either Trace or Robee was defiance and irritation. She felt them next to her, as they were driven out of the city, in a car that jolted them about up and down. Heia held Kim’s face in her mind knowing that Kim would have cause a scene to get Heia back in one piece. They had worked in different places but Kim would have their back.
Heia’s knees were weak when she was marched from the vehicle after what felt like hours of traveling. She had lost her sense of time in the abduction. When the blindfold was taken from her eyes, she was blinded by the light. Before her, delicate hands touched her face, calloused fingers lightly dusted her cheeks. Kim’s hair was vibrant against the blinding white, as Heia blinked. Kim was all she could see, the look of distress and so much adoration.
“Release her.” Kim ordered. Heia felt her bonds cut and she rubbed her wrists to look at her siblings who were free as well. Kim hugged her, pulling their bodies close. “He’s coming.”
“Heiphillia.” Alan Penn’s voice was not surprising in the least. Heia took Kim’s hand and turned back to the man.
“Turns out I can give a pretty good speech, if I want.” Heia smiled at him hostility in her eyes, ready to fight.
“What did you expect to accomplish? Riots?”
His expression furrowed as he shook his head. “We will–“
“No.” Heia stepped forward. “This has been on your terms since the beginning. It is not your terms anymore. It is mine.” She was not sure where she had gotten the energy nor the power, but she held to the fire in her chest. “We only have ninety-seven days until the prophesied Uncertain End. We do not have time for you to play politics and to hide information. The world is either in this together and we survive, or we all die. No if ands or buts. Tomorrow we meet. Tomorrow we talk with all of the X leaders. Tomorrow, we begin to do what we can for this part and the whole of the world will know about it. No more games. No more politics.”
“There will always be politics.” Alan threatened.
“And there will always be revolution.” Heia glared back. Kim said some additional words that Heia did not listen to, as she stalked off back to their quarters. Kori laughed and asked all about it, making light of the situation they had been in. Another life or death problem? It was nothing. Kori knew it was not, but she acted as if it were not. Heia’s sister had been changed by this all. She’d never fully understand Kori who was forced to grow up in the end of the world, but Heia was determined that the new world they faced was not like this one.
She was tired of living this way. Others were tired of living as they had. Heia knew what she had to do, and she was going to start pushing her way forward. She was chosen. And like Evester. And like Zeydar. She would no longer apologize about being an asshole about it.