|Blades, Bullets, and Benevolence
Author: Brenin2010 PM
And with those few words my entire world was turned upside down... R&R please!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 21 - Words: 40,085 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-28-10 - Published: 04-22-09 - id: 2663914
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Wow, everything is heating up with graduation right here in front of me. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this chapter!
I poured for hours over the maps and data my mother kept in her office, planning my little trap. I knew the key to my brother's power was my sister who was safely in his grasp. If I could get her away from him, I had the potential to exploit a weakness. The major problem was, how I would get her away from him? Capture was the only option, as that was the only way I could both keep her alive for information and have a chance to redeem her.
The sun rose outside before I was done planning; I heard my mother walk into the kitchen soon after the sun beams poured in through the bay windows. I continued to plan for several more minutes until finally someone came to the door of the office and quietly knocked on the finely carved wooden door. I waited a few minutes before finally inviting them in with a quiet invitation. I knew in my mind there were only two people whom it could be: either my mother wanting me to come to get breakfast, or Alexa wondering where I was and if I was alright. My mother probably already knew what I was doing, after all, I was most likely screaming during my dream the previous night, and yet my mother had never disturbed me. In that respect, she could probably guess what I was up to and knew enough not to disturb me while I worked.
Which left only one possibility as the bolt lifted free of the door frame. The door slowly opened and a blond head of hair slowly peeked around the door, cautious in case I was not decent. I had dressed when I awoke though, and was still pouring over the data in front of me as she slowly walked into the room. Her bare feet barely made any noise on the hardwood as she slowly walked across the room, holding her arms across her body as if she was cold. I had the fireplace roaring with a nice warming fire, so I doubted that this was due to the cold.
"You alright?" She said softly, putting her hand on mine gently as she walked around the desk to my side.
"Yeah, I'm alright," I said, looking at her and smiling as I put my other hand on top of hers. "You trust me, right?" I asked after several minutes of silence, praying to whatever being might be above us that she would help me out on this. She was my rock, my entire world, the whole reason I existed, and I needed her support so I could bring myself to do this.
"You already know the answer, why are you asking me?" She replied. She knew something was up, but my heart sank at the fact that she couldn't come out and say it.
"Because I need to hear it before I go any further. I'm about to do something huge; bigger than anything ever attempted, and I need your support." I said, my voice pleading with her to understand.
"I would follow you to the ends of the earth if I could, I know you're always looking out for both of us, but you have to promise me that Ella won't be in any kind of danger. If my family were to lose her, we'd all fall apart. She is the only reason we've kept up hope. She has to be safe." She said, determination flashing in her eyes. I knew that she wouldn't compromise on this; but I already planned on taking Ella out of the equation, so as not to put her in any danger.
"Don't worry, she'll be safe. I didn't even want to get her involved in this. It's going to be you, me, and Samuel. Ella won't be in any danger. I promise." I said, laughing slightly as I said it. I didn't want to convey the wrong message, but I was glad I had her support.
"Alright," she said, looking out over the pile of maps I had spread out over the desks. "So what are we doing?"
"We're going to capture Melanie." I said, scanning over the maps again, looking for somewhere I would be able to use to capture her. I spotted a narrow street and went over to a filing cabinet to look and see if there was an illustration of the street.
"Melanie? That crazy girl that tried to kill us? That did kill your best friend? That Melanie?" She asked, staring at me like I was crazy.
"Yeah, that Melanie." I said, turning away from her. I knew this wasn't going well, but it was time she knew what I was going to do. "There's something you ought to know about her: she's my sister. She's being controlled and manipulated by my older brother, who killed my father and helped establish the Empire." I said; turning my back to her, my fists clenched tight as I held my arms at my sides. I walked over to the balcony which overlooked the courtyard and stood there for a while, gripping the railing with a tight grip. I was on the very edge of losing my cool right now. I was nervous about the mission, and I had no idea if I had Alexa's support, much less that of the rest of her family. If this plan of mine was going to succeed, I would need all of their help.
"Oh." She said after a long pause. She ruffled through several documents in front of her for several minutes, glancing over the table at the maps and data that littered it. She walked slowly around the room, taking in all that I had told her. Finally, she made her way over to me, walking slowly and dragging her feet. She walked into the sun beside me and put her hand on top of mine. "I'm sorry, I didn't know." She said after a few minutes, putting her other hand on my arm and pulling herself closer to me.
"I have to save her. My brother has been twisting her mind for a long time now. It has to stop. The only way I can think of to do that would be to kill my brother. We're going to have to get information from her. In order to do that, we need to capture her. I have a plan but we're going to need some help from Sam." I said, putting my other hand on hers. I was overjoyed to have her support, but for the time being, I had to keep my cool.
"Alright, I'm with you. We can't tell Sam though; this should stay between us for the time being." She said, looking out into the courtyard below to see Ella playing with her mom. The two were playing around the fountain in the middle of the courtyard.
"Well," I started, pausing for dramatic effect more than anything else, "I can understand about keeping it from Sam, but keeping it between ourselves is going to be hard considering my mom already knows about the whole situation, in fact, she knew before I did, but she kept it a secret from me." I said, looking up at the sky as I thought about it. She had known these things all along, but she had never told me. At the same time, she had been preparing me for all this.
"I figured as much. I won't tell my mom though, or Sam." She said, still watching Ella and her mother play in the courtyard below. "You should probably get dressed, or else your mom will be in here looking for you soon." She added, punching me lightly on the arm and giving me a wink. I knew then that she intended to tell my mother I was still laid up asleep when she had come in and that she couldn't rouse me. She walked out with a simple "see you in a few minutes" and left me to get ready as fast as I could before my mother came in.
I spent most of the rest of the day relaxing around the central living area of the complex. My adrenaline which had fueled me through the night had worn off by now, and I began feeling worn down as the day went on. Alexa stayed close to me as we went on, keeping my mother at bay as she tried to get me to do some chores around the house. That night, after our mothers went to bed for the night, we brought in Samuel, and over the next several nights drew out a plan for capturing Melanie.
* * *
Several Days Later…
The festival was in full swing as we walked down the crowded streets. Colorful banners hung above us as Alexa and I made our way through the crowded streets. Sweet smells from bakers' stalls filled the air around us, and street performers drew crowds every few feet. From fire breathers to musicians and magicians, everyone had come out for this festival. We eventually made our way to an open plaza outside of an ancient temple, built hundreds of years ago in the glory days of the great republic. The main building which housed the worship area was made in a circular atrium, while a giant pillared porch area was raised on steps in front of it. Below this, in the plaza, a square had been cleared for a group of street performers, who took turns doing performances.
We arrived just as one performer finished his comedy laden routine, and as another man, a musician, started up. Vendors had also gathered with the crowd of spectators, selling everything from masks and hats to hot cakes. I used a little of the money we had to buy hot cakes, and handed one to Alexa as we watched the music show, hand in hand, from the back, sitting on the porch of the old temple, long since shut down. As we enjoyed the man performing in front of us, my eyes kept a sharp lookout, watching for anything suspicious that might be lurking in the crowd.
After several minutes, I finally spotted what I was looking for. I stood up and kissed Alexa on the cheek, whispered "be careful" to her, then made my way through the crowd to a side alley, where I began to climb to get to the roof of a building. Once up there, I watched the crowd, waiting for the bait to be taken. Suddenly behind me I heard the fluttering of cloth and the distinct clicking noise of a pistol. I turned around to find myself face to face with Melanie.
"It's about time; I was wondering when you'd finally spot me." I said with a smile. I had no weapons of my own, but I knew she wasn't about to just shoot me and kill me. My brother probably wanted me alive at this point. That didn't mean I could simply dismiss it, however, I knew we were both on equal footing at this point.
"I spotted you a long time ago; I've just been waiting for you to get away from that trampy friend of yours." She spat back, walking closer as she aimed the pistol at me.
"Trampy? That's not very nice you know, I would expect better of my sister. Anyways, it seems I've overstayed my welcome, but I'll drop in sometime soon." I said, smiling and winking at her as I said all of this, finally stepping onto the ledge of the roof and leaping off as I finished my sentence. As I fell, I reached out my hand, grabbing at a pole I knew was there and swinging to the windowsill of another building. From there I hopped up and managed to climb back up to the roof of the next building. As I looked back, Melanie looked furious, and had already aimed at me. She fired, but missed by a few feet. I ran and jumped across the next alley and rolled onto the roof.
From there I kept running, knowing that she was right behind me chasing me across the rooftops. I led her in a circle around the temple complex, finally reaching a rooftop which had a tower extending into the sky. I ran inside the door and up the spiraling staircase, trying not to get myself sick as I spun round and round the tower. Finally, I reached a balcony area, and ran up the windowsill there, leaped onto the ledge and pulled out a bolo I had grabbed, swinging it around a rope that was hanging there and slid down to the roof of the abandoned temple.
I crashed into the roof area, untangled my bolo and ran up the roof as fast as I could, coming to an opening in the center of the roof which let light into the giant dome. I climbed inside and onto some scaffolding that had been in place during the last restoration of the temple over 20 years ago. I ran as fast as I could to the lower level, finally standing down in the center of the inside, which was filled with ruined pieces of scaffolding that had fallen, cobwebs, and other signs of decay. As I looked up and covered my eyes with my hand from the glare, I heard a click and jumped just as a shot hit beside my right foot. I ran into the shadows and hugged myself against the wall, breathing hard and hoping she would come down to try and finish me off.
The air stood still at that moment; I could hear the crowd outside, but they sounded distant. There was cheering and clapping and music, but inside the abandoned building, there was only silence, and occasionally the creaking of the boards of the scaffolding. Finally, I was able to make out boots on stone, and looked toward the center to see Melanie, pistol still out, her eyes looking all around her to try and find me. I tried to start spinning the bolo, but it hit a clay pot sitting on a work table, sending it crashing to the ground and sending me diving for cover as another gunshot rang out and whizzed past my head.
I crawled away as fast as I could, cursing my bad luck as I watched Melanie reload her pistol. I finally found another spot and slowly began to spin my bolo again, making sure I was out of range of anything that might give away where I was in the shadows. Once I managed to get the bolo spinning at as suitable speed, I launched into action, running towards her as fast as I could, still swinging as she took aim. I counted in my head "One… two… three!" and released, watching it sail into her arm, causing the pistol to swing widely and go off harmlessly into the roof.
"Now!" I shouted, ducking out of the way as two thick nets sailed from the scaffolding running up the walls of the building and one sailing down from the ceiling to trap Melanie in their tangling grip. I jumped up and ran to the where she lay, tying up the ends and leaving her trapped. Once that was done, I held up a cloth I had soaked last night in some chloroform my mom had given me, and knocked her out. Just as I finished, Alexa and Samuel walked out of the shadows, wiping sweat from their brows and smudging their faces with grease as they walked into the light.
Samuel picked up the nets and walked to the entrance, where a cart attached to a horse waited for us. Alexa gave me a quick but tight hug and jogged over to the entrance to get a blanket to put over our new prisoner as we transported her to a safe house where we could keep her safe and get contained while we got information out of her. We made our way out inconspicuously, heading to a safe house we had rented out several days ago.
We parked the cart outside and carried her up the stairs, finally coming to a small apartment on the outer edge of the complex where we could keep her hidden. We brought her into a small side room, chaining her to a wall with a loose chain so that she could walk about and eat. The room had a table and a chair and a small window to let in light, as well as a bed in one corner of the room, right next to where her chain was attached to the wall.
After we chained her up and laid her in bed and made sure she was comfortable, we walked into the kitchen area of the small apartment, sitting down at the table and waiting for the next event in the schedule. I planned to get Alexa out of the house before the interrogation began, and for that, I had asked my mother to come over and escort her back to the main apartment. While we waited, we ate some bread that Samuel had bought while tailing us in the market before the operation and played cards to pass the time after that.
The game was simple: cards were passed out in hands of five to each player. They would pick one suit and put a card from said suit face down on the table so that no other player would know. From their they would take turns trading cards with other players of drawing from the deck in the middle of the table until they had assembled one of every card from that suit, at which point they would be declared the winner. I had learned to play it long ago during training; the game was all about deception and fooling your opponent until the last minute.
An hour or so passed like this, with each of us being of almost equal skill, since it was after all, a children's game really. By the time my mother had come to pick up Alexa, we had each won one game. She walked in just after a particularly close game, in which Samuel managed to pull victory out from under both Alexa and I, who had both been close to winning. After his smug declaration of victory, Alexa and I both sprang out of our seats and began angrily demanding a new game, leaving my mother with an amused look as she cleared her throat, at which point Alexa and I sat down sheepishly.
After talking for several minutes, I took my mother back to where Melanie was being kept. Miraculously, she was still unconscious; however we took caution as we walked in to make sure she wasn't faking. My mother walked up beside her daughter and watched her sleep, probably for the first time in many years. It was a very odd sight; despite trying to kill us so many times, my mother looked on her daughter with only the utmost affection in her eyes. There was sadness, but I knew my mother still loved my sister just as much as the day she was born.
She gently ran her hand over Melanie's cheek, tucking her in as though she were a small child. After making sure she was alright, my mother walked out, pausing at the door to look back one more time at my sister's unconscious form before going back into the kitchen area. I was left standing there, wondering what her thoughts were on this path of vengeance I was about to embark upon.
By the time I had walked back into the kitchen, my mother and Alexa had already left. I was a little sad Alexa had not said goodbye, but I understood that this was a dangerous time and that she needed to get back to the apartment where she would be safe. I sat down in a chair with a thud, regretting it immediately as pain shot through my lower body. I sat there for several minutes and finally looked up at Samuel.
"You ready to do this?" I asked, hesitant towards the response. It was too late to get cold feet now though; I had to go through with it.
"I'm ready. Let's do this." He replied, his voice hard as he stood up and walked back to the bedroom where our prisoner lay.
A/N: Wow, intense stuff… anyways, hope you've enjoyed this chapter. How do you guys like the story? I'd really like to hear some response, just give it a review. Anyways, until next time, peace! And to those graduating with me in the Class of 2010, continue to rock on my compatriots! Rock on!