AN: This chapter is supposed to confuse you a bit, so don't feel like you're missing something. All will be explained later, I promise.
Huge thanks go to my betas, bookish327 and Elessar1201. They have given me tons of insights and suggestions so that I can't wait to really get to work on chapter two.
I don't own The Host. I don't own Ian. I don't own Wanda or Mel or anything. It's all Stephenie Meyer's.
It would begin with the end. I had been warned. Still, the memory that pulled me under was so strong it caused me fear. For what, I wasn't sure. All I knew was that I was afraid.
The night is cool with the sun down. We are at a higher elevation than the caves, and air here is thinner, already showing the first signs of fall.
"I got it. Go back to the van."
Jared grunts at me but obeys. I insisted that Wanda stay in the van with Melanie, so I am all alone on the black pavement. The silence is almost eerie. We had come to a tiny station in Snowflake, and there are no ships leaving at this hour of the night.
I cradle the small tank in my arms as I creep toward a crate. I lay it very carefully among the group labeled for the dolphin planet. Wanda thought Pet might like it there. She was so protective of these other souls; it made me almost love them too.
I smiled with my new body as it remembered the face with tenderness. The memory face smiled at me, too, before the memory switched gears abruptly.
The sound of tires on the road brings my head up. Jared was supposed to wait by the hanger. Why was he picking me up?
It takes just a second for everything to fall apart.
It takes just a second for the police cruiser to come around from behind the stacks of crates.
It takes just a second for the headlights to shine in my face.
Instinct takes over. I run.
I'm not really paying attention to where I'm going, escape the only thought in my mind. So it isn't until I can clearly hear the yells from the car next to me that I remember the pill in my pocket.
Is this all there is left?
Wanda. My poor, sweet Wanda. I don't want to leave her alone.
No time to think of that. Run!
I sprint around the side of one of the small holding hangers, praying that Jared has seen me and will take the girls to safety. Of course he will; he would never let Melanie be in danger. Not again.
I'm in an alleyway between two buildings. The car cannot follow here. If I can just make it to the end...
Another car pulls up, blocking my exit. Damn! The Seekers must have called for backup. My hand goes into my pocket, searching for my pill...
No! Even though I knew that he had failed in his attempt, I felt the violence of preparing for suicide as though I was still there running down the alley. I felt tears come to my eyes.
My hand clenches around the pill and begins to pull it up when I hear a loud bang. My arm falls limp and my pill falls to the ground, hopelessly lost to the darkness. I nearly collapse from the shock and pain. One of the Seekers runs toward me while his partner stands behind with his gun still pointed at me.
I charge toward the two Seekers. They are so surprised by this that their reactions are slow. With my right arm still hanging and bleeding, I punch the first Seeker in the nose, making him cry out and fall back. The other is frantically trying to reload his gun. I knock him over, my height giving me distinct advantage as I grab his throat and begin to strangle him.
There is a slight scuffle from behind that I barely hear before I am knocked to the side, rolling on my bad arm. The pain is almost unbearable. I try to get up, but I am suddenly aware of a cloud of mist on my face, one that smells like raspberries...