I started fiddling with a wrench, turning it over and over in my hands.
We snuck, though there wasn’t much need for sneaking, through the building towards the Wave Room. I thought I saw a few flickers of movement, but I turned and there was nothing.
Maybe I was just being paranoid.
After Stone’s team had gone through, all we had left to do was follow and avoid the Gear patrols. I tried not to look at the carnage both groups had left behind. For the first time, I began to wonder.
Is this worth it? Is this worth our lives?
Twelve guards in blue and silver trimmed uniform. Dyed leather-expensive in an almost unliveable city- protected their forearms and shins. Their weapons were electric spears with thick wooden shafts and serrated heads. Their right arms rested iron shields decorated with sparse embossing. They stood to attention in a line with their backs to the Stairs leading to Floor 5.
We stared at each other for a long moment.
Then I stood up.
“They may have come up with a better idea already, but I think we should tell Stone and the others.” I was excited; I was sure this plan would work. We could still win this!
“Ok. Let’s do it.” There was something undefinable in Lani eyes, a sort of purpose and determination I hadn’t seen before. It made me slightly nervous, but I shrugged it off.
I let the way though the dank concrete corridors, passing a few doors before we came to the one with yellow light seeping through the cracks.
I took a breath, suddenly nervous, and knocked.
The first thing I felt when I woke up was the subtle swaying that I associate with being on the higher Floors. Then I heard a high pitched, breathy sound. It took me a minute, but I finally recognised it as a scream. I opened my eyes.
It hadn’t been very loud, and soon after I’d woken up it had changed to quieter whimpering sobs. I rubbed my eyes and shifted on the hard stone Floor to look at the only other person in the room; Lani.
I yawned and ran a hand through my dirty brown hair.
It had been a long night and I was ready to hit the sack. But the discussions of Knox and Stone continued. When I told Knox about Jamie, his uncharacteristically serious face had made me worry even more, and have a revelation.
It wasn’t the obvious fact that we had lost control of Jailez, it was the realisation that we had never controlled it in the first place. How could we ever believe that we could control a city with 121 Floors, filled with every kind of person imaginable?
We had a couple of hundred men and women who stormed the palace and took out the guards, and we used those people to take out the Factory supervisors, but we could never have enough people to take Jailez. The only thing we had manage to accomplish was to imprison the royal family and take out the guards. The city’s people were still free to do what they wanted and fight who they wanted. We had freed them from authority, but not installed a new authority to maintain order.
And that scared me.
As we crept up to an abandoned warehouse on Floor 90, Lani hissed, “Do we have to go here? There are safer places to hide than the Freedomist base!”
I sucked in a few more breaths of air before answering, thinking: mental note to Connor: climbing Floor stairs really fast was tiring!
“Yes, there are safer places, but we were just attacked by a turncoat general! The Freedomists need to know that they have spies. Jamie wanted me to decode the waves. That means that someone wants to communicate, and they’re not on our side. We need to tell them or someone else will control this city!”
Lani shuffled closer to the edge of the building we were hiding behind, suspiciously glancing at the warehouse. “I still don’t think you should have control of Jailez, but I guess the enemy you know rather than the devil you don’t…” she trailed off doubtfully.
I blinked. And blinked again.
Right. This was not a dream.
I studied the person threatening me in shock. Eventually, processing one feature at a time, I made my way up to her face. Thinking clearly under pressure has never been one of my strong points
When the girl’s green eyes opened, I was staring right at her freckled face. Ok, so she wasn’t that freckled, but she still had a few spots sprinkled across her face. That meant she was definitely rich. No one of the poorer classes of Jailez would have been so affected by the sun; we work inside the city, live inside the city, and most of us never have the money to leave.
Then I realised I was staring. My cheeks flushed slightly, and I quickly moved my gaze to the clock on the wall. 8:30pm.
Then curiosity got the better of me and I went back to looking at the girl. I had a million questions, but I started with just one.
“So, who are you?”
I stared at the girl, wrapped up in an old blanket on my couch, and realised I didn’t even know her name. Or who she was.
I closed my eyes and frowned. This could be trouble, I told myself.
Why do I always act before I truly think something through? I wondered. Just because helping this girl was the right thing to do doesn’t mean you should’ve done it! If she’s a member of the Magnifique, the Freedomists will have my head!
Connor throws his kingdom into disarray through rebellion.
Princess Lanna is devastated when her whole family is killed. Lani and Connor meet and as they fight to re-establish peace, they both learn about the consequences of bringing down a Kingdom.
(c) StoryGirl 2018
I can't claim to be a brilliant writer, in fact, I'm a total amateur! But I enjoy it, and even through my horrible spelling mistakes, I hope you enjoy it too.