"Sean?...Sean!" My head snapped up. I had been lost in my own thoughts for a while. It seemed like days could have gone by without my noticing. Blake Sterling was crouching next to the unbelievably uncomfortable chair I had collapsed into at the news of the stand off between us humans and Sophia's people. His eyes looked concerned for a moment and then changed to…hope?
"It's over. It's done. She's given up and been taken away. I don't know what will happen to her but she doesn't have enough support anymore to keep up her resources." I knew part of that already. This war between us and the aliens has been going on for two long weeks since I had convinced Sophia to stop the spread of the deadly virus. Since then, more and more of the others had come over to our side preferring the death of themselves and their people rather than the genocide plan in Sophia's head. Of course, I and a few others knew personally that President Martinez had plans not to kill those who came over to our side. Less could be said for Sophia's fate. This loss of power on Sophia's side only fueled her anger leading to an all out war between the two species. The sides had been evenly matched, Sophia with her technology and us with our numbers, until today. Sterling's words sunk in as her repeated them again, the concern returning to his eyes. I had misjudged his conscience. He wasn't as concerned for our survival as for how I was handling the news. "It's over."
"Over." I repeated back. I tasted the word on my lips as my mind cleared and it became harder to believe the truth. "I don't believe it. There has got to be another way she can get to us. Someone else who has their full confidence in her notions and is still willing to help her. Someone with power." I rambled over my thoughts. Sterling sighed.
"It's very possible. We don't know what resources there still are on other planets or even on Earth. We're hoping for the outsiders that joined our side are willing to talk to us. Our guards aren't down, however, until everything has been checked out." That did make sense to me. I knew personally my guard wouldn't be let down for a long while. Possibly not ever again as these series of events have permanently changed my life.
"What is the status of the situation at this moment?" Did we have to wait longer for more confirmation? I glanced at my watch noting that it was 9 PM. We had begun the standoff almost twenty hours ago…
"As of right now, all is clear. There is no immediate threat from Sophia or anyone on her side." As soon as I heard the word "clear" I jumped up from my seat and began making my way to the exit of the warehouse we had taken over from the aliens as soon as the war had begun. It was one of our greater victories because of all of the information that came with the building. The information had been the main factor in overtaking our enemies. Almost subconsciously, I noticed Vicky stand up from her chair from across the room and begin making her way towards Sterling and I. She had become my partner in a way and we understood each other. I briefly compared us to private investigators one time to which she rolled her eyes. She had more experience than all of the private investigators in the D.C. area combined. My lack of knowledge and skills in that area, although made up with my technological skills, evened us out a little with the investigators. She caught up to us quickly, no readable expression on her face, even though I knew that didn't mean she didn't feel anything about the current situation.
"Where are you going?" Her voice was tired. Maybe of the war, or maybe of my actions, I wasn't quite sure. I didn't have to consciously think about her question. My answers were automatic these days.
"To Leila." I said simply. Saying her name felt like pulling my chest open and exposing my heart. I silently cursed myself for letting my mind wander enough to stop thinking of the girl I love for more than five minutes.
Vicky nodded. Like I said, she understood me. There was even a significant chance that she would follow me to the hospital.
"Sean." Sterling's voice broke me out of my thoughts again. "I don't want to disappoint you. But just keep in mind. We've been on lockdown for the past 14 days and you don't know what you will find when you arrive at the hospital. No one knows what the virus does to hybrids." I felt my anger rise at that word. The word that both separated me and brought me closer to Leila. It was the secret that her father kept from her, her whole life. It meant she wasn't exactly alien, but she wasn't human either.
"Sterling. I know. As of the last time I saw her, I was the only one who believed she would make it. Even she gave up on herself. The last thing I would ever do is not go back to her. Even if she is worse, she needs to know that I still have hope." Hope was growing all around us thanks to this victory. Surely there was more to be had?
"You still believe that she has a chance?" It wasn't an accusation from him but rather confirming my thoughts.
"Yes. Of course I do. She's the strongest person I know." With that I opened the heavy metal door separating us from the outside world and stepped forward, squinting in the light of day.