A/N: This is Hadam, writing from Maya's POV because Jasmine managed to change the plotline in the last chapter alone. So Colourfulclouds will be writing from Clara's POV in the next chapter and I am apologising now for any things that are a bit out of character for this chapter. So read review and enjoy!
Chapter 14: Searches in the night
Darcy suddenly stops acting all comatose as the news I just delivered reaches her ears. Her eyes flick out the door where we all see orange streaks along the horizon. Rhys is the one to speak up.
"We can't look for her now, the sun's risen,"
"Well, sorry Clara we tried. Die and have fun doing it," Darcy says bluntly. I punch her in the arm. She turns on me,
"You people really need to have more respect towards girls who have just come out of comas!"
"Not really the time Darcy," Rhys mutters to the girl in front of me. "We kind of have to figure out how to find Clara."
"Unless she's been burnt to a crisp, which is likely," Felix interrupts,
"You, sir, are a ray of sunshine," I tell him sarcastically, earning myself a kick right in the gut.
"What are we gonna do about Clara?"Darcy hisses in a kind of pissed-off way. I guess we deserve it.
"I vote that we go to look for her in pairs tonight, as soon as the sun's gone down," Rhys tells us. God, that boy should just get a badge that says 'official team organiser'. It would save the rest of us a lot of trouble. Everyone's staring at me. Oh, right, they want my opinion.
"I think- I think that's a great idea," I manage to stammer out as I just look at my lap, blushing. Where's this coming from? Why am I blushing? Great, now I bet they all think I have a thing for Rhys.
I spend the rest of the day tracing my finger across the floor, making imaginary scenarios of what could happen when we find Clara. By the time the sun finally sets, I have devised 132 scenarios (yes, I counted) of how we could find Clara. We head out in twos. Me and Darcy and Rhys and Felix. Darcy and I head out towards the front of the shed where the lake-thing was. I stare into the black water. If Clara had fallen in there, there's no way of knowing. When I say this water's deep, I mean that this water's deep. Who knows what's below the surface, not to mention drowning. Darcy and I walk around the edge of the still water, scanning the surface of the water for any signs of life. Once this proves fruitless, we start heading in the direction of the building that's beside the shed.
"Maybe she thought, she'd save us the effort of cleaning it out?" Darcy says hopefully as we enter the ridiculously stinky house. She pulls open a cupboard to reveal a family of rats. Dead rats. I shriek and Darcy slams the doors, looking pale.
"Forget I said that," she mumbles. We hold our noses and breath through our mouths, but I'm feeling like a can chew the air, that's how thick with stench it is.
We round into a corridor. Two figures are at the other end, looking around the doorway into a room with stricken and horrified expressions. We run up to them.
"Felix! Rhys! What're you doing here?"
I ask them. They stiffen and face us slowly, terror etched onto their faces. Darcy and I reach the doorway. We see why.
An entire MES squad, consisting of twelve men, are in there. One of them is holding Clara, who has tear tracks down her face and a dirty piece of cloth over her mouth. They're facing us and in the moonlight, I catch a twinkle of sadistic joy in their eyes.
"Crap," Felix croaks, and I nod in agreement. Then we run.
Footsteps pound down the hallway after us and we burst into the silvery garden, illuminated by the full moon. They barge out after us, looking around. We duck behind the walls of the shed, out of view.
"Hey, kids! I ain't got candy, but maybe you'll come out in exchange for us not hurting your friend!"
Snickering and hoarse laughter fills the backyard. I feel Felix tense and Darcy scowls. Rhys starts searching for his knife and I pull mine out in one swift yank. I let the moonlight bounce off it and show our pursers we're armed.
"What's that, little girl? You got a flashlight? I'm peeing myself it's terrifying!"
More laughter. My arms quake with rage and Rhys pokes his head around the side of the wall.
"A knife," he spits, glaring. "It's a knife you blind idiot."
A series of 'oooooh's' come from the group and I hear the lead guy holstering his gun.
"What did you call me, punk?" He growls, and I hear him coming closer.
"Wow, he's deaf as well as blind. Who knew?" Felix says, very, very loudly. Another guttural growl comes from the man as he rounds the corner and stares at us in the moonlight. His gun trails over each our heads, then he gets to Felix.
"You just insultin' me before, emo-boy?" He snaps, glowering at Felix. The teen shrugs, but I see tension in his shoulders.
"Not emo, man. No cuts." He holds up his arms. "And yes, I believe I was, you jacked-up pig's ass."
Silence from the other guys. I think they realise Felix took it a bit too far. The man in front of us scrutinizes Felix, and I imagine that he's thinking of the best way to gut my friend.
"You know, kid, I think there's a file on you," he says finally, looking harder at Felix's face. He flips through his phone for a second, then smiles.
"Yep, right here." As he goes through it, he whistles. "Can stay in the sun, huh? And it says here… dammit." His shoulders droop. "Not to be exterminated. Yet."
Felix raises his eyebrows at Rhys in a, How the hell did they get a file on me? way. I slip my fingers along the dagger handle, itching to throw it. The man keeps going over Felix with his eyes. They stop suddenly and I think he's looking at my friends hips. Then his eyes slide to Darcy.
"Aww, the mutant's found himself a girl!" He cackles, rubbing his stomach in an attempt to ease his laughter. Felix and Darcy clench their jaws. I realise that they're holding hands.
"More than you'd ever get, jack-ass," Darcy hisses, and I can kind of see a semi-blush on her face. The guy stops laughing. He glares at the blond.
"I'd slit your friends throat for that if she wasn't needed alive," he promises darkly. Darcy's lips purse and Rhys looks like he wants to kick the guy where the sun don't shine. I'd rather stab him in the gut. Felix looks totally postal.
Then the moonlight bounces off the man's eyes and I notice that he's gazing up and down my friend's body. I see her hand clench tighter on Felix's. I feel rage roil in my stomach. The MES leader smirks.
"Mutant's found himself a pretty girl," he amends. Both Darcy and Felix tense and Felix slips his other arm around the blond. For stopping her from jumping the guy in front or to stop the man from snatching her, I'll never know.
"Don't even try," he hisses, and I hear the absolute venom in the words. I would so not like to be at the other end of them. The MES leader cocks his head.
"What's to stop me? You? Her? Them?" He motions to us in turn, pointing first at Felix, then to Darcy, then to Rhys and I. Heat courses across my face from anger.
"You're sick!" I shout. "Disgusting little pedo!" The man turns to me.
"No," he shrugs. "Just bored."
"Hold up," Darcy says, putting her hand out in front of her to cease conversation. Then she points to the man in front of us. "You can dream, boy. But I feel like gagging just at the sight of you. No, way."
She looks at the MES guy with absolute hate. His eyes narrow and sparkle. Then he laughs.
"I've always liked a challenge," he crows. Then he steps forward. We all shrink back against the shed wall. Rhys makes a noise as his bare arm hits some jutting stone and a cut parts his skin. I just start trying to aim my knife at the MES guy as best I can. He'll come for me next, I can tell. Then maybe even Clara.
The man's arms suddenly close around Darcy's shoulders and she yelps as she's yanked into the air. Felix shouts loudly and holds onto her for dear life. He's pulled off the ground two. The MES man scowls when he sees the black-haired boy hanging in front of his face, holding onto Darcy's hand as she's slung over the guys shoulder. The man punches Felix hard in the stomach and my friend's breath leaves his body as he's flung backwards into the wall. He lets go of Darcy. She screams in anger as the black-haired boy slumps down on the ground and coughs. The man carries the blond away. Rhys and I draw our knives and while the sandy-haired boy crouches down to check on Felix, I run after the MES leader. My dagger lights up in the moonlight and I watch it sink into his bicep. I was aiming for his back, but I got something at least.
He howls in pain and a hand the size of a shovel swings back at me. I duck, lunging to stab him again, before someone heavy dives onto my waist and pins me. I slash at them and they roll off. It's another MES man. The whole squad's surrounding us. Barr the one lying dead at my feet. They close in as their leader walks out with Darcy, heading towards the stinky house.
"Be back in a few!" He calls cheerfully. Darcy howls in rage and starts rocking around on his shoulder. He teeters, right on the edge of the little lake. I feel my breath hitch in my throat as his foot slips.
Darcy wriggles out of his grip as his arms slacken in shock, before they clamp down on her legs as she's about to make a leap for freedom.
"Not without you," the leader growls as he slow-motion falls into the deep water. Then I notice the breathing apparatus swirling out of his suit and setting over his mouth. He can breathe underwater. Darcy can't.
Her eyes find mine as I stare in shock at my friend slowly plummeting towards the water. She nods briefly, a tear lighting up on her cheek in the moonlight. Just as she's about to disappear I watch her gaze go to Felix. A smile settles on her lips as she disappears under the lake.
He wakes up to late. Felix's eyes come back into focus just in time to see his friends – girlfriends? – hair sink under the waves.
We all kind of sit there in shock for who knows how long. It's like losing Felix all over again, but I think it's worse because I am closer to Darcy.
Was, I remind myself painfully. Was.
Then a howl tears the night. I look sharply to my left to see a totally rabid expression on Felix's face as he shrieks into the sky. His eyes lock on the man holding Clara and I see the pain and fear in my friends eyes as the black-haired boy charges towards her. His gaze is dark and devoid of anything besides postal rage. His fist connects with the MES man's lower chin and I hear a loud CRACK as his neck breaks. Shock floods through me. Felix punched him hard enough to kill him.
Clara falls to the ground and rips the gag off, spluttering and crying and screaming in anger at the same time. She shoots to her feet and launches herself at the man next to her. She scores her nails down his face and blood runs onto his lips. Then, before he can react, Clara punches in his wind pipe. It collapses in and he falls to the ground, slowly asphyxiating.
Rhys and I share looks and I'm not surprised to find his full of fury and a rabid want for revenge. I swear I feel myself frothing at the mouth. We both hurl ourselves at the MES squad, weapons and tempers raised and flaring.