I froze. The tracker. She was in the trees, watching us. How long did she have our trail? Did she ever lose it? How could she still be alive? If she's still alive, was Cohryn still alive? Was he with her?
I run forward, grabbing V's arm, "V!" I said between my teeth.
He looked back, "What?"
"Tr-Tracker! Subject T! She's right—" I pointed, but she was gone, "There…"
V looked at me, "She was killed."
"No, I saw her eyes!"
"You're imagining things sweetheart. It's okay, let's get going."
I wanted to argue, but I couldn't. Maybe I was imagining things. I looked back into the forest. There they were again! Neon green eyes, watching us.
I ran toward the forest. V shouted my name and ran after me, closely followed by M, who threw the Sergeant over his shoulder and easily caught up. The eyes disappeared, running away, but my sensitive ears picked up the footfalls easily. I followed after her, dodging tres. My night vision must be better than I thought, I could hear V crashing into trees and cursing, while M tripped over roots. I would've reveled in the fact I was faster than the boys, if I wasn't concentrating so hard on catching her.
We came to a tiny clearing, with some broken beer bottles on the ground before I finally caught up to her. This little girl, she couldn't have been more than 9, 10 at the most. She stared at me, neon green eyes unsettling. She had the same blank stare that M had when I first met him, the one he still got sometimes. Her face looked burnt and scarred from the explosion.
I asked, "How did you find us?"
She just stared at me. I snapped, "Is Cohryn with you?"
She still didn't say anything, but she was starting to look frightened. V and M were there by then. I grabbed her arm, turning to face them, "See? I told you."
V stepped forward, grabbing her shoulders, "Where's Cohryn?"
When she didn't answer, he yelled at her, "Where is Cohryn?!"
Again, she remained silent. V made a face and sent a shock through her. It was enough that it stung my hand. I jumped away. Subject T yelped and began crying. I put my hand on V's arm, "You're hurting her."
"That's the idea!" He snarled.
I jerked his arms off her, "V! Stop! It's not her fault either."
He looked mad enough to electrocute me, but took a step back. I turned to face her, gently wiping the tears from her eyes. "Alright, just tell me, did Cohryn follow you here?"
She shook her head. I looked back at V, "There, you see? She must've managed to survive somehow, Cohryn's still dead. Don't worry."
V snapped, "M! Watch her. A, get over here." I walked over. Between his teeth he told me, "A, there's no way. You're not taking this one under your wing. Don't grow attached."
My silted eyes narrowed, "What makes you think I'll grow attached?"
"Please. You have the biggest habit of caring for anything that might be even slightly helpless. Not this time. Too big a risk. The scientist will be tracking her every move because we were he last target. That's why she followed us."
"But what if they think she's dead too. We can't just leave her in the middle of the woods. She's a bigger risk then."
I don't think I'd ever heard the tone of voice V used to say, "I didn't intend to leave her anywhere."
It actually took me a second to understand. "If you aren't then—Oh no. No. You are not killing her. No! I won't let you kill anyone else."
"A even you have to see we can't leave her here. And I won't have her along."
"Well I won't let you kill her. Or the Sergeant. I won't stoop to their level."
More quietly, "We won't be. We're killing to protect ourselves, not just because we can."
I made a face, trying to think of some argument. My head knew what he was saying was right, that we needed to. But I couldn't. Not again. I looked over, expecting those strange eyes to be locked on me. But they weren't…I followed her gaze to the Sergeant. M had a hand on his shoulder, but suddenly he didn't look so nervous.
In fact, he stood up straighter, and turned to face M, "Subject M. Be a good creation. Destroy the tracker."
M's brows drew together, but when the Sergeant snapped his fingers, M's eyes went blank. He moved toward the Subject, who couldn't have been much taller than his waist. Her eyes grew slightly wider. If she were capable of feeling fear, she would've been terrified.
I steppe toward him, "M?"
With one large hand he reached out and grabbed her by the throat, easily lifting her of the moist earth. She scrambled to get away, but there was no way she could fight him. I screamed, "m!"
But he was gone. Without so much as a thought, he snapped her neck, dropping her little body into the trees. M turned on his heel, back straight, eyes dead ahead. I was crying by this point, and V's death grip on my arm was the only thing that was stopping me from running to him. I screamed at the Sergeant, "What did you do to him?"
He shrugged, "Quite simple really. His genetic composition was designed to be susceptible to commands, despite your attempts to change that, Subject A. One injection and I had that all fixed. Now, if you don't mind, we're going to the airport."
I snapped, "You can't make us work for the government!"
He stared at me for a second, then began laughing, "Oh, Subject A! Do you really suppose some military man could get his hands on the correct chemicals? I'm flattered my disguise worked so well though."
I couldn't do anything but stare at him. What was he talking about? His eyes met mine for a second and I jumped back. "Cohryn?!"
"Of course, little mouse. Who else?"
"B-But…You died! You should be dead!"
"Should be, but am not. My former body was dying, quite true, but my mind was still intact."
V snarled, "Your mind hasn't ever been intact."
Cohryn laughed, "I suppose not. But it was simple enough to stage an attack on the van as it made it's way to the base. I doubt the personality switch would've succeeded if it hadn't been for Subject A settling things for me. I truly owe you one sweetheart."
I screamed, "Give Subject M back!"
"I couldn't even if I wanted to. Unless there is some extreme chemical shock introduced to his system, he wont be able to resist."
I quickly tried snapping my fingers, but that just made Cohryn laugh, "My sweet little mouse. You didn't actually think that was how it worked? I calculated the timing in my head, I just added that for drama. Now if you don't mind."
When V tensed, so did M. Cohryn said lazily, "You don't think you can outrun him do you? And if you can, what about her?"
V glanced at me. It was true, I couldn't keep up, and there was no way he would leave me behind. I looked down. There was nothing I could do. Teo slithered out of the neck of my shirt hissing.
I took him in my hands, whispered something to him, then released him in the grass. Cohryn laughed, "Ah, my Speaker. Do you really think I'd forget to inject this body with the antidote for your pet's poison?"
"No, I said quietly, "I just want him to go free."
V stepped in front of me, "We won't go without a fight."
"Really, Subject V, stop being difficult. You could stand your ground I'm sure, but the Speaker? While you're busy, I'll be free to do as I please. Do you trust me that much not to hurt a woman?"
V's eyes narrowed but he was stuck. Cohryn snapped, "Subject M! Bring them along."
M took a step toward us. V sent electricity down his arms, "He needs a shock? I'll give him a shock."
Faster than my eye could follow, V struck out at M, lightning cracking as it streaked through the air and into M's body, making him fly back into the trees. V smirked, turning his mismatched eyes on Cohryn. But Cohryn simply started laughing, "It has to be some type of chemical shock, boy. Something I'm afraid you cannot do. Let's just make this easier on all off us."
"No!" V snapped, and ran at M quickly, who was emerging from the bushes. But before he could even reach our usually silent friend, Cohryn grabbed my hair, holding a cold knife to my throat. All amusement was gone from his voice as he said, "This body moves much faster than my old one. Now V, be reasonable. I'd hate to have to kill your love. What more does a father want than for his son to be happy?"
V was so angry he was shaking. I was scared he might explode again, like in the truck, but when his dark eyes met my own panicked ones, they softened slightly. Cohryn smiled and nodded to M, who grabbed V's arm and forced him forward. Cohryn released me, and M released V. He protectively put an arm around me.
Cohryn turned to M, smiling, "Yes, the perfect killer. Ferocious, powerful, silent, obeys commands—"
"Until there's a powerful shock to his system," I cut him off quietly.
Cohryn glanced at me, "Hm? Oh, by the time you can get your hands on any chemicals, I'll have injected him with so much he won't be able to react."
"Don't be so sure," I said, a chill to my voice.
Cohryn looked at me, eyes narrowed, "What're you talking about Speaker?"
I stood tall, looking up at the man who'd created me. Who'd taken me from my mother, and made me into a freak. I said, "You cannot be affected my my snake's poison."
"We've already established that," he sneered.
"But," I pointed to M, "He isn't."
Cohryn eyes grew wide. He whipped around to face M, but he was too late. M grabbed him by his throat, lifting him off the ground as easily as he'd lifted Subject T up. M stared at him with as much hatred as V had had that night in the truck, I could almost see his grey eyes going dark. His grip tightened around Cohryn's throat. A strangled noise made it out of his lips.
M looked over at me, waiting for my move. I glanced at Cohryn, and without a second thought, said, "Kill him."
A terrifying smile crept across M's face, and with one enormous hand, he literally crushed Cohryn's throat, forcing the vertebrate of his spine into his windpipe. Blood poured out of the man's mouth as M tossed him into the trees.
I asked, "Are you alright? The poison won't kill you will it?"
M answered quietly, "No."
We all stood in silence for a second. Waiting. It was over, but it felt like there should be something else to run from. First we ran from the Facility. Then from Cohryn. Then from the military. Then it seemed Cohryn again. But now there was nothing to run from. But we still waited.
Waited for whatever else the world would use to try and stop us. Waited for the next threat, the next reason to run, spend our lives running. Worrying. Never knowing what would be next, just knowing that if we defeated it, something else would come.
But nothing happened. No unbeatable force appeared, no army to try and pull us apart. Somehow I knew, even if we had to keep running for the rest of our lives, nothing could pull us apart.
Author's Note: Thank you so much to everyone who read this story! It's been a few years, and I'm considering re-writing it, but I'm looking for your input! Please go to my profile and fill out the poll there about whether you are interested! Also, please check out some of my more recent work!