Disclaimer: I don't own the Gatekeeper's
My second story. Constructive criticism wanted. No flames Please.
Wish I could draw a better arrow.
Power of Two
Scarlett was in a dark place, but someone was nudging her, trying to draw her back into the light. Unwillingly she opened her eyes to find a boy leaning over her, shaking her awake. She recognized him at once and knew that the fact he was with her, that he was bruised and disheveled, could mean only one thing, . . . and it was the worst news of all. He was here because of her. The Old Ones must have tricked him into coming to Hong Kong, and know the two of them were prisoners. Scarlett felt a sense of great anger and bitterness. She had been drawn into this against her will. And it was already over. She Had never been given a chance.
"Matt . . ." she said.
At last the two of them were together. But this wasn't how she had hoped they would meet. She drew herself into a sitting position and rubbed her eyes. They had given her back her own clothes, but her hair cut short was still unfamiliar to her. At least she had lost the contact lenses. She had taken them out the moment she had been left to her self. Despite everything she found herself thinking that Matt was very handsome and had broad shoulders but quickly shook the thought away blushing slightly hoping the dirt covered the blush.
"Are you okay?" Matt asked.
"No." She sounded miserable."How long have I been asleep?"
"I don't know. They only brought me here an hour ago."
"When was that?"
"About eight o' clock."
"Night or day?"
Matt examined his surroundings. They were in a bare, windowless with brick walls and a concrete floor. The only light came from a bulb set in a wire mesh cage. From the moment solid steel door had been closed and locked, he'd had to fight a sense if claustrophobia. They were deep underground. The police had brought him here had forced him down four flight's of stairs and then along a corridor that was like a tunnel. Ordinary policemen. The same as the ones who had arrested him. It seemed that the shape-changers, the fly soldiers, and all the other creatures of the Old Ones had decided to leave Hong Kong. He Wondered why.
Despite everything, he had been relived to find Scarlett who he had noticed looked beautiful dirt and all. She looked very different from the photograph he had seen of her not in a bad way (she somehow made it work for her) he was too tired to blush but if he wasn't he was sure he would have. He couldn't imagine what it must have been like for her, being stuck here on her own.
"Why are you here?" Scarlett asked. She still couldn't keep the slight excitement from her voice.
"I came for you." Mat said. He wanted to tell her more, but he didn't dare. There was always a chance they were being listened to.
"You shouldn't have. I've ruined everything. I'd have gotten away if I hadn't . . ." Scarlett stopped herself. She couldn't bring herself to talk about her last meeting with her father.
Matt sat next to her so that they were shoulder to shoulder with their legs stretched out on the floor. From the way he moved, she could see that he had been hurt. He looked pale and exhausted. "Why don't you tell me everything that happened to you?" he suggested. "You could start by telling me where we are. Do you know?"
She nodded. "the chairman came to see me . . . ."
"Who is the chairman?"
"Just some creep in as suit."
"I think I might have met him."
"He wanted to gloat over me," Scarlett continued. "He told me that you were on your way, but I'd hoped he was lying. This is an old prison. We're right in the middle of Hong Kong. It was left over from Victorian times."
"So when do they serve breakfast?"
"They don't. It's bread and cold soup, and they bring it once a day. And the bread is usually burned." She thought she saw a flicker of a smile on his lips but dismissed it.
Matt lowered his voice "Hopefully we wont be here that long," he said. It was as much as he dared tell her, but even so, Scarlett felt a glimmer of hope. "You know I went to your home in Dulwich," he said, changing the subject.
"Was that you in the car? There was an accident – "
"It was no accident."
"I knew it had to be you," Scarlett said. "They planned it all out very carefully, didn't they? Using me to get you here. Are any of the others with you?"
Matt nodded briefly and Scarlett understood. They both had to be careful about what they said. She gazed at him as if seeing him for the first and last time. "I can't believe you're here. I can't believe I'm really talking to you. Do you know, I've even dreamed about you."
"Don't worry about it," Matt said. "We all dream about each other. It's the way it works."
"There so much I don't understand."
"Join the club."
"Looks like I already have." She took a deep breath. "I don't know where my story even begins, but I suppose I'd better start with St. Meredith's. . . ."
She told him – briefly and without fuss – and as she spoke, Matt knew he was going to like her. She had been through so much, and in a way her experiences Reminded him of his own at Lesser Malling, the way she had been reeled into something completely beyond her understanding. And she had coped with it. She had been brought here. She had been locked in this room for three days. But she hadn't cracked. She was ready to fight back.
She finished talking, and it seemed to Matt that just for a moment the building trembled as something, a shock wave, traveled through the walls. Scarlett looked up, alarmed. Part of her knew what was happening and was expecting it.
"What?" Matt began.
"It was nothing." She said so hastily he could see she didn't want to talk about it, didn't even want to imagine what was happening outside. "Tell me about yourself," She went on quickly. "Tell me how you got here. Did you go to the temple? They've got people waiting for you. They thought you'd come through one of the doors."
He told his own story, or part of it, starting in Peru. It would have taken to long to tell her the whole thing, and he was still afraid of being overheard. From Nazca to London to Macao . . . It had been a long journey, and it was only now that they both saw how closely they had been following each others paths.
Matt finished by explaining how he had found his way to Wisdom Court. This was the difficult part. He had seen Scarlett's father die, and he had been at least in part responsible. How was he going to break the news?
But she was already ahead of him "That shirt your wearing," She said. She had suddenly realized. "It's his."
"Yes," Matt admitted.
"Where is he know?" Matt didn't answer and she continued. "They've killed him, haven't they?"
Matt nodded. He didn't want to remember what he had seen in the last moments before he had been taken of Wisdom Court.
Scarlett's face didn't change, but suddenly there were tears in her eyes. "It was all his fault," she said "He thought he could make a deal with the Old Ones." She paused. "I don't know, Matt. I suppose that's the way they work. They get ordinary people to do evil things for them. They used him. He really thought he was helping me." She let out a sob and Matt wrapped his arms around her and she buried he face in his chest held her tighter. He felt his shirt dampen with tear though she wasn't sobbing any more. "Thank-you." She whispered.
The building shivered a second time. It wasn't as strong as it was before but they both felt it.
"You know that Hong Kong is dying," Scarlett said. "The chairman told me. They're doing it deliberately. They want to turn it into what they call a necropolis. A city of the dead."
"I saw some of it last night," Matt said "It was horrible."
She brought herself closer if possible. "Don't tell me. I lived in it. I can't belive I didn't see what was going on." She sighed. "What's going to happen to us, Matt. Are we going to be killed?"
"They don't want to kill us," Matt said. "It's complicated. But killing us doesn't really help."
"They think they've beaten us, but they haven't. The others are still out there. And you and me. . ."
"What about us?"
"They put us together because they want to crow over us. But that's their mistake. Now it's time to go to sleep I'll tell you more tomorrow."
It was true she was sleepy. Her eye lids where already closing. "All right Matt, Good night." She yawned and Snuggled closer to Matt. "Good night Scarlett." he said yawning before going to sleep himself.