I'm really sorry that this chapter is so short. We're getting close to the end, which means a lot of big events, so I need to take a little time to plan out what I'm doing before I can actually write it.
"That sounds very heroic, Rev, but I seriously want to know where we're going," Lee said, not wanting to put up with any more of Rev's mysterious crap at the moment.
Rev placed a hand on Lee's shoulder and walked out of the dark room with him, into the whitewashed hallways, Symon following close behind with his gun loaded and ready to fire. Lee noticed Rev squint in the bright lights and put his sunglasses back on. "I can tell you when we're alone. Symon is an ally, but he isn't exactly safe to be around. The NETWORK already knows we're here because of him."
Lee looked back at Symon, alarmed.
"Not my fault," he said. "Rev was the one who insisted I come along."
"We were screwed over to begin with, so bringing you along couldn't make it any worse. In fact, they probably already know where we're going, so I'm just being over paranoid about not revealing anything to you." Rev turned and walked into a room.
Lee watched him, confused. "Rev, that's not the way out."
Rev returned a moment later with a mug in his hand. He quickly handed it to Lee and said, "I told you I'd bring you coffee, didn't I?"
Lee felt himself smile. "You get stranger every time I talk to you," Lee muttered, then took a sip of the coffee. "This tastes a lot better than I remember."
"That's because it's coffee and not that genetically modified crap you're used to. And it has sugar in it. Sugar makes everything better." Rev looked at a woman sitting in a chair, her head hung over. He pressed a hand to her neck, checking her pulse. "We need to get out of here. They'll be waking up soon."
"I told you that you were wasting time," Symon said, raising his gun.
Rev lead them down the hall. "Relax, Symon, don't be so trigger happy. I don't endorse killing, even if the person you want to kill is a jackass."
Lee's fists clenched by his sides. "What about murderers?" With everything he'd seen lately, there were a number of people he wouldn't have a problem with killing, starting with Dr. Stroge.
Rev's face turned dark and he looked away, turning down a hall. "We're not basing our victory on killing anyone who doesn't agree with us. That would be a form of Fascism or Dictation, which I am not a fan of. Although this is a coup d'etat, I would like to keep brutality to a minimum."
Lee grabbed onto Rev's upper arm and turned him around. "So we're going to ignore everything they've done? We're going to pretend that these labor camps don't exist?"
Rev pulled his arm out of Lee's grasp. "You're mistaking my pacifism for forgiveness. There will be trials and punishments for all crimes, but not with brutal murder. When a new government is established and the citizens of the City are disillusioned, there will be justice."
"Do you even realize how many kinks there are in your plan? How long it will take for society to get back on its feet and return to something normal and properly functioning?" Symon butted in.
Rev pushed the two of them along. "I'm aware. But I'm not going to let everything continue along how it is just because it's going to be hard. Change never comes easy, but humans are adaptable creatures. They'll be able to adjust to function without mind control just fine. It might take a few years, it might take a few decades, but it's going to happen, and I've been gathering people who I feel will make the transition as smooth as possible." A man began to stir from his sleep. Rev's voice became lower and they all began to move faster. "Removing the control of the NETWORK is only the first problem we'll have to deal with, but I feel that it will be the most difficult and most important one."
Lee looked at Symon. "I think he's smarter than you give him credit for."
"He's a suicidal moron if he thinks he can actually pull this off without dying." Symon's voice became low and urgent as he raised his gun again, aiming it at the rousing programmers. Rev was still trying to keep his fingers away from the trigger as they walked.
"I will pull this off, and dying is certainly a possibility."
Lee looked at Rev, alarmed.
"You're not going to die," Rev said with a sort of half smile. "That's not in the plan. I can't be sure about anyone else."
"Why can you only ensure my safety?"
"I'm doing the best that I can. Not everyone always lives. I can ensure your safety specifically because you have a major role in this mission. You and I can resist the control of the NETWORK. Bringing along anyone else becomes a liability past a certain point." He looked over at Symon. I'll be stopping you before we get to that point."
Symon nodded, still glaring at the rousing men and women.
"Don't shoot them, they're still disoriented from the virus. You can start killing people when they try to kill you first, okay?" Rev lead them towards the exit.
The door opened and Lee saw Lesa standing in the doorway, not looking too happy. "What took you all so long?"
"Ashlee was taking a very long time to get moving." Rev said, slipping out of the door.
Lee glared at Rev. "You were the one wasting time."
Rev smiled at him and lead them towards the wall surrounding the BCF. "I did no such thing."
"Will you two shut up?" Lesa said. She pulled on both of their ears. "We need to get out of here fast, and you two just seem happy to be chatting it up and wasting even more time." She looked at Rev. "I've got the word going around about your plan. We've decided that we're going to go through with the distraction."
Rev's eyes widened. "Are you all insane? I can't turn off the power, so you're all going to die."
"Yeah, what happened at the base anyway? Why can't everyone cause a distraction?" Lee thought of how upset Rev had been at their last meeting in the Void.
Rev stared at the ground, and Lesa looked at him sadly. "The Scanners found the Base and a lot of people got hurt," Rev said quickly. "I didn't want you to find out until this was over, but I'm also not much of a liar. Sarcastic, maybe, but not a liar."
Lee rubbed his eyes. "How many got hurt?"
"Seven hurt, six dead. Ellie and Vance made it out."
Lee swallowed through the thickness in his throat. He hid the stab he felt in his chest as well as he possibly could.
"I don't mean to sound insensitive, but now is not the time to mourn their loss," Symon said quickly. "This whole place is going to be on high alert soon, and you two have to leave. Now."
Lesa hit Symon on the shoulder. "You are the least sensitive person I've ever met!"
"At least I'm here helping you and not the NETWORK."
"Yeah, how's that going for you?" She asked. "How much longer can you keep that thing out of your head?" Her voice was skeptical and harsh towards him.
Symon's fists clenched around his gun and he let out a hot, angry breath. "Not much longer, actually. I've started to get this intense pounding sensation right between my eyes"
"You're a liability."
"And you're not? Look at yourself. You're nothing more than skin and bones. At least I have a healthy body that won't drop dead at random," Symon hissed.
Lesa's brown eyes became a shade darker, and she looked like she was about to attack him. Lee quickly put his hand on her shoulder to remind her to keep calm.
"Both of you are very useful to me, and you should stop fighting," Rev said as he walked right up to the wall and moved his hand over the smooth surface. "If you had been paying attention, you would have noticed the now very awake people exiting the building. Lesa, where's the exit?"
Lesa walked over to him and ran her fingers along the wall, tapping every few seconds as she did until she came to a weak point. "Are you sure you completely shut down the power to the wall?" She asked as she removed a metal plate.
"Fairly certain. Almost completely sure."
Lesa looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. "You're going first," she said and stood up straight.
Rev gave a short laugh and crouched down in front of the hole. "Alright. Let's do this."