Just a little one-shot on the escape. It was actually a flashback in my other story, but it had to be chopped, so I figured I'd tweak it a bit and stick it up here as something new here while I'm polishing off the other story.
There is another one too. It's called The Experiment. It's probably better read after having read up to a certain point in the other story because it assumes some stuff and gives away other stuff, but if there is interest I will put it up sooner.
The escape was inevitable. Eva's death, however, was not.
My name is Eva.
I knew what was coming. I knew.
I'd seen it in Zack's eyes.
And you know what? I was scared. I never thought I would be. Max thinks I'm fearless. Zack thinks I'm reckless. It's the right thing. But I was scared.
I guess no one wants to die. No one wants to face psy ops. I guess everyone is scared when the time comes. We were so close. We were right there, on the edge of freedom, I'd already survived so many things that I shouldn't have. It seemed unfair. To come this far, get this close . . .It had to be done.
Zack gave me the job because he knew that only I could do it. Would do it. He would have, sure, but he was needed as leader. Me, I'm not a leader. I'm not even SIC. I'm the one that does the hard thing, just crazy enough to do it, but not crazy enough like Max or Ben to overdo it.
We weren't ready. The guards came to take Max away. But we couldn't wait any longer. It had to be tonight. It had to be me. I assumed a fighting stance. It was on autopilot, when I moved next, body twisting out my control. The guard was one the ground, unconscious. I grabbed his abandoned weapon and removed the safety.
Zack's face was pale and drawn. He thought maybe he wouldn't have to use me. He hoped, anyway. But down deep he knew, and I knew, and we both hid the truth from the others. I didn't blame him. Not for a second. I'd have done it anyway. Still, though, I was scared.
I was a transgenic. We all were. It meant we had DNA from other living creatures – cat, shark, fly, owl, you name, all entwined within to make us the most advanced and gift people out there. Super soldiers. Trained all our lives to be the best, unstoppable.
Zack sees further than I do. Further than any of us. He sees deep. He sees connections and possibilities that others don't. He said that we could get out. And that changed everything. The guards, the doctors, the soldiers, were only human. A revolution was brewing.
I led them out into the hall, gun held at the ready. My job was to a take a fall. Stay behind and buy everyone else time to split up into pairs and disappear off into different directions. Get re-captured.
If I couldn't work out a reckless and impromptu solo escape plan, I'd face psy ops and/or execution squad. Make-'Em-Ups were my speciality. There was a minute chance that I could get out alive and free. It was enough.
I blinked, eyes adjusting to the sudden bright light in the hall. Colonel Lydecker emerged. Same gun. Facing me down. For a frozen moment we all waited, we stared, breathed, tensed, expectant.
I felt exalted.
It was my moment. This was my place and my time. I was no longer afraid. It was all very clear. I couldn't do want Zack wanted. It was up to him to take the re-capture; I had a different purpose.
Something only I could do. I could see it now. Something Lydecker and Zack wouldn't figure out. Not until it was too late anyway. Hope. Faith. Motivation. That sort of stuff. There had to be a sacrifice.
Now! I yanked my finger back against the trigger. Seconds too late. Long enough for Lydecker to shoot first. I was on the ground. My shoot had deflected harmlessly into a wall.
Pain seared through my chest and stomach. I'd be shot before. This was different. Fatal. I took a deep breath and gasped. It hurt. Tears burned at the back of my eyelids.
I wanted so much to live. I wanted to know that my death made the difference. It mattered. That everyone would get out and stay out because I died for it. Died for them to run and fight and be out there.
I couldn't think. Couldn't see.
But I hoped.
And then, and then…it was over.