Disclaimer: I do not own the Shadow Children series - don't know the real author's name either, and I'm too lazy to go look it up. But she's not me, and I'm not her, and I'm not me - wait a minute, yes I am! Me, that is, not the author. You get the point.
A/N: I have read these books - all of them, I promise. Ask me for a single detail about the first three and I'll know it. Ask me for the general idea behind the next two, and I can give you an answer. But ask me anything whatsoever about the ending and I'll say one thing - "The last book was called 'Among the Free'" Unfortunately I remember nothing more, so even though this one-shot is set post-ATF, please forgive me if there's anything wrong with it. Like, if Luke died at the end or something (I'd remember that, wouldn't I?) If he did in the books, he didn't here, 'k?
So, yeah, post-Among the Free, told from Jen's POV as a ghost. Hope you like it!
Jen had always been proud. In life, she'd been proud of her chat room, of the friends she'd made there, of her relentless struggle against the government and her refusal to give into the Population Police. She had fancied herself a martyr for her cause – "Give my liberty or give me death." It was the slogan she'd lived by – and died by.
In life, she hadn't been proud of Luke. She'd enjoyed his company, she'd liked having the lonely hours that were normally filled with the chat room talk shared with someone else – she'd loved him like a third brother. But she wasn't proud of him.
He had so much potential, she knew, but felt that he didn't believe it. She remembered her impassioned speech in which she'd tried to tell him this, "Whenever you talk about how you used to go outside, you glow . . . you'll tell yourself you're not worth it – and you are worth it Luke, you are!" He didn't understand. He thought it mattered, how he'd grown up. He thought Barons were actually more important than farmers.
Jen's ghost, all that was left of her former glory, let out a short laugh, a tear formed partly from sadness and partly from joy rolled down her cheek. How close-minded, how narrow – and yet, how could he have thought otherwise, having never been taught anything else?
Now, in death, Jen was still proud. Proud of herself, yes. Of her legacy, of the rally that would become the driving force behind the growing revolution. As Luke's predictions of the posthumous honors that would be heaped upon Jen's head came true, she couldn't help but bask in the well-deserved attention people were giving her memory. After all, she'd started this – without her, any revolts by Shadow Children would've died in the home, in hiding where it was safe.
Jen had used one quote from the American Revolution, over 300 hundred years before as her slogan. She thought of another now, "He who gives up his freedom for safety deserves neither." It had been Jen's guiding light, her fierce resolve that the Population Law was evil and needed to be destroyed at any cost that had made people realize the deep truth of this statement.
Yes, she remained proud of her own actions even beyond the grave.
But now she was proud, too, of Luke. Luke had surpassed even her expectations of what he could be. He had done things that in life she'd found abhorrent and against the cause – he'd accepted a fake ID and passed himself off as someone else, someone legal. And in doing so, he had been able to further her cause to a greater extent than she ever could have through her chat room. No matter how emphatically she'd typed to Carlos and the others, how she affected them could not possibly compare to how the thirds at Hendrick's had been affected by Luke. His words – and more important, his actions there had inflamed the hearts of the students to a degree she could never have imagined.
And what he'd done since – Jen knew that she was praised as the hero of this war, but she felt that Luke was much too modest and the world had not given him nearly enough credit. Without Jen, perhaps the revolution would never have started, but without Luke . . .
Without Luke, the revolution would have been nothing more than a few dozen deaths on the steps of the capital. Without Luke, the children would still be in hiding and the adults would still live in fear. The Government would still have control and the Population Police would still be running and killing unchecked.
Jen smiled down on the poor farmer boy she'd once befriended. "Congratulations Luke." She whispered. Then she added with a chuckle. "Now you know you're worth it. And you always have been. Goodbye, my friend. Perhaps we'll meet again someday." Her unfinished business was complete, so with one last smile her ghost faded away to the next life – and this time, nothing would stop her from living it.
Luke could've sworn he'd heard it. Jen's voice from far away, congratulating him on the victory and saying a last farewell. He looked up at the sky and murmured. "Goodbye Jen."
A/N: Just a short little one-shot I thought up when I should've been doing homework - I hope you liked it!