Chapter 14: The revenge of children
The road back to the others seems longer than before, now that we were relaxed and full of the sea’s energy. On the street, a TV from a shop’s window had gathered the three passers in front of it. Dylan stops the car, and when the forth appears from nowhere and seems interested too about what was on TV, he throws me something that looks more as a curtain than a scarf, found inside the car.
“I would tell you to stay here, but I know I would be talking in vain, so put this on your face. I want to see what’s with this agitation.”
I start smiling when I hear this because he was getting to know me better and better. I put the scarf on my face and we head to the shop. He puts on his head a hat found in Dalia’s car too.
“Down with the thieves! Down with the Government! Liars!” it was coming from the little screen.
“Revolt. People have gathered in front of the Parliament”, says a woman.
“They lied to us! They laughed at us! They destroyed lives. I knew it was all a big fat lie”, says another.
“They’ve done something with the last night video. It can’t be watched again because there’s nothing left to be found on the internet! They’ve blocked everything! They have a lot to hide!” shouts a man.
The press was there, exposing the facts that had happened so far, and saying that the President had taken measures right after she had found out what we had said. The arresting of all who were involved in the crimes had started a few minutes after we stopped filming. Ones of the traitor politicians started talking soon, in exchange for an easier punishment. John had quitted a first thing in the morning. Even if he had helped us to recover the data from Stan, he was still a traitor and he needed to be punished somehow. He had made the right decision, but I was sure that it was more of the story than they fed us on the screen.
“They had arrested Stan, but his son is missing and he is not talking to the Security Service”, says a man. “Look, this is what they’re saying now. They’re telling us too much already, and it’s weird. They feel guilty. Sam Bernard is given an international tracking. I hope they catch him in time because if he wasn’t guilty he wouldn’t be on run. Even if his name doesn’t indicate any guilt, the run is the proof they need.”
“It’s happening”, I tell myself. “It’s really happening.” Dylan pulls me by the shirt.
“Let’s go”, he says.
We rush to get out of there because we can’t be exposed anymore. We didn’t hear anything about the President’s decision about us, the ones who created the chaos in her country. Dylan starts the phone he had from Dalia and puts her on speaker.
“We did it!” we hear her voice.
“You’re seeing this?” I ask.
“The people are creating chaos. It’s helping us. They’re forcing them to do something.”
“We’re waiting for you”, says Raisa.
“We will be there in two hours”, says Dylan relieved.
Dylan continues driving more relaxed than before, without bothering to notice the pits on the road. He doesn’t drive around them anymore because this would mean to drive through the ditch. I roll my eyes at my thoughts and I laugh.
“I’m thirsty”, he says.
I look on the back for something to drink, but I see only an empty bottle. Dylan laughs and pulls over. There’s a little store across the street.
“I’ll be right back”, he says winking at me.
I see him running across the street. He had left me the engine running. There are not a lot of cars around here, but I can see some at a distance, on the opposite part of the road. “They’re going to the sea”, I think. I can see in the mirror only one car coming in our direction, which soon stops behind me. I can’t see who’s inside because it’s too far. I can see three figures, probably men.
I see Dylan waiting in line to pay, a thing that amuses me a lot. “In the line” isn’t exactly the right thing to say, because it was just an old lady in front of him and she was moving very slowly. Finally, he offers to help her, and it brings a smile on my face. “He’s probably helping her because he’s in a hurry”, I think. But I remember that he’s a good person and I realize that the rush isn’t exactly one of his motifs.
The car starts making strange noises, and I take off my seatbelt. I get up and stretch to see what’s wrong with the shining buttons from the board. I don’t have a driver’s license, and I wasn’t good with cars, but I had driven three times in my life. The details don’t matter now, when I’m staring at the buttons, without knowing what to do. “Technology”, I mumble. I hear that strange sound again, so I try to move on the driver’s seat. The moment when the cars suddenly drive away on its own is the moment when Dylan throws away what he has in his hands and comes out shouting after me.
I’m hit again by the seat and the car speeds. I push the break, but it’s no use, so I pull the handbrake, but the car still doesn’t stop, it just shakes badly. Everything happens so fast, and I remember Paul’s accident, and I know that car had stopped for a reason behind me. The doors won’t open, so I have no escape chance. I jump into the truck right before it violently hits a tree.
There are lights and colors around me, or it’s just my sight trying to adapt to the light coming inside through the broken windows. Something flows on me and it doesn’t really smell of lavender. My body hurts and I feel something wet on my face. Blood. My head is spinning and I hear sounds. My belly hurts like hell. Something sharp hangs between my ribs, and I realize I don’t have anything broken, by some unexplainable luck. I try to get up and I push with my legs the door. I don’t manage to open it the first time. I continue to hit the doors with my last strengths. I’m thinking about where Dylan could be and why he didn’t show up until now, but then I realize I have no clue about how much time it had passed. Finally, I open the doors, and in my trying to get out, I fall on the ground.
I can see among the blood and sweat drops four silhouettes coming at me. Two of them are dragging someone, and then I realize that person’s Dylan, who is unconscious. My heart starts beating fast again when someone hits me with the leg in my chest. And it’s not just someone, it is Sam Bernard. The one and only fugitive son. Everything starts spinning around me, and one of his men grabs me from my arm, then he drags me to a car.
I open my eyes and all I can see is dark. I feel like I’m standing on something soft, and then I realize that there’s someone next to me. I can feel him breathing. I scream terrified, but I feel a hand touching me.
“It’s me”, says the husky voice.
“Dylan? Are you ok? What did they do to us? Did they bury us alive? Where are we?” I ask desperately.
“They put us in the trunk. They haven’t killed us yet.”
“They probably want to find out who we conspired with against them. Stop talking. They might be listening to us.”
The car shakes again because of the pits, then it starts trembling, a sign that we were out of the road. A country road.
“We’re not moving for a long time. Ten minutes”, says Dylan. “You’re full of blood, I can feel it on me.”
I put my hand instinctively to my belly. My shirt is filled with blood, and I can smell it too. My body is throbbing.
“They wanted to kill me like my father…” I whisper trembling.
He searches for me with his hands in the dark and touches my shoulder.
“Listen to me carefully. When they’ll open the trunk, I will hit them, and you will get out and run as fast as you can and far away.”
“I won’t leave you here with them.”
“They’ll kill you. I\ll be fine until you get help.”
“But I don’t know where we are! I don’t have the phone either! I can’t believe this is happening…”
“Cara, stay focused. Promise me you’ll run.”
I try to gulp, but I feel the blood in my mouth. It must be another way, but in order to make Dylan stick on his plan, I tell him what he needs to hear.
After these words, the car suddenly stops, and the trunk opens. When he sees light, Dylan hits hard with his legs, and the trunk hits the man in the head, and he falls on the ground. Dylan jumps on the other one, and I run to find some weapon to use.
I hear footsteps behind me, and I see Sam following me. He’s holding a pistol, taken in a hurry from the man lying on the ground. We are in a warehouse, and there aren’t many things that I can use as a weapon. I can see some pipes on the ground and some broken glass. A gunshot makes me jump on the floor, near some big piece of metal. While I was trying to use it as a weapon, it ends up as a shield against the bullets. He runs at me angrily and mad, shooting like a crazy person.
My hands hurt and they are shaking from the hits, but they suddenly stop. I can’t get my head out of there, but I figured he might have run out of bullets. But I hear another gunshot and a cracking above me. I see a lot of wooden and iron pieces falling on me, and I fall when I try to keep them away from me. The piece of metal saves my legs from the falling pieces, but I still remain stuck there, with it over me. I can still feel them because I’m not that hurt as he wanted me to be. Anyway, he probably wanted me dead. But I see him coming at me and I realize he is going to use me as leverage because, otherwise, I was already dead.
I look around and I don’t see Dylan anywhere, and neither the other man, a sign that something wasn’t as I hoped. I feel sick and I try to turn around, to set my legs free. Sam runs at me, but a gunshot stops him. He falls and I can see the blood flowing from his leg.
Dylan shows up covered in blood, with a pistol in his hand. He runs to Sam to take him the gun, while he was struggling to reach it again. He hits him, but Sam gets up when I finally get out from the wreckage.
“Wait!” shouts Sam desperate, when he sees Dylan pointing the gun to his head.
“Why should I wait another second?” asks Dylan ready to shoot him.
“Because if you kill me you won’t find out why all the police are looking for you! Without me, they will charge you with treason and they will put you in jail! Anyway, you need me alive!”
Dylan hits him in the face.
“What the hell are you talking about, corrupted liar?”
“You stole it and sold it, so now they are all looking for you!”
“Who did you sell it to? And what chip? You’re lying!” screams Dylan and puts the gun to his head again.
“No! Wait! In the car! The tablet! Your face is everywhere on the news!”
I rush to the trunk, dragging my body who felt like it was breaking. I scatter through the dirt and my blood, and I find a hidden tablet behind a small door, at Sam’s indications.
I take it to Dylan and I see there’s a video where he enters a room, inside some institution, and then he walks out and puts something into his pocket. After a search on the internet, we find news incriminating him, and accusing him of working with a dangerous terrorist group. An official document kept away from the press and ordinary people, but at which Sam has access to, shows that the stolen piece is a chip which contains national security information. Dylan turns white and I put the tablet down.
“But I didn’t… You bastard!”
“Dylan? What the hell is this?” I ask insecure.
“What do you think it is, sweet pie? Dylan here made all the dirty work for us for a long time, and he used you just like everyone else did. Tyler, remember him?”
“Shut up, you liar!” shouts Dylan madly and hits him.
He doesn’t stop until I can’t recognize Sam’s face anymore.
“Just stop it!” I shout and pull him away from Sam.
Dylan looks at me shocked, but I can’t understand some things that don’t fit together.
“So you believe me?” asks Sam spitting out blood.
“Talk”, I say.
“Cara!” shouts Dylan. “You don’t believe him…”
“Ha!” continues Sam. “Come on, Dylan. Just admit that everything was a game and let’s get this over with. Tell her the truth.”
He rushes again to hit him, but I stop him in time.
“See? Do you see how everything fits together now? Why he was the only one there when your world collapsed? Have you ever asked yourself this? Why is he here now and he’s still alive? Why he didn’t put a bullet into my brain?”
The image started spinning with me and I couldn’t believe that what Sam was saying was actually true.
“Cara, don’t you dare believe his lies!”
“Cara, think. It’s obvious. I saw him drifting away from our plan and I thought of putting all on him.”
“Really?” I ask. “So you stole the chip and falsified the images to seem like he took it. Where’s the chip?”
“I’ve sold it to them.”
“If I tell you, I lose my leverage.”
“You don’t have a leverage anymore. Your father killed my parents. He poisoned my mother and crashed father’s car, just like you did to me now, but it didn’t turn well for you.”
“Yeah, so? I had to keep my cover somehow. It wouldn’t have happened anything if you have kept your noses out of this. There are some things that people with weak stomach don’t need to know… They would be terrified.”
“Like the fact that you’ve given the chip and the weapons to some terrorists? When do they plan to use them?”
“I’m not stupid. I won’t tell you this. And I didn’t give them to the terrorists. I’ve given them to some intermediaries. To whom they will sell them… that’s not my business.”
“Do you know what I believe? I think that you staged Dylan this not to get revenge on him, but to cover your ass.”
“Yeah, so what?”
In a second I grab the pistol from Dylan’s hand and I turn it at Sam.
“This is your last chance. Tell me to whom did you give the chip and what he wants to do with it!”
“It’s not that simple…”
He doesn’t finish his sentence because I shoot him in the leg, where Dylan had shot him before.
“Cara, what the hell are you doing?” he asks getting close to me.
“Don’t come any closer!” I shout and turn the gun to Dylan.
“I can’t believe this! You either believe him, or I don’t know what the hell you’re doing here!”
“Leaving the circumstances aside, this is funny”, says Sam. “Too bad that no one can do anything now. It’s too late to stop it from happening. Once they have the data from the chip, they will sail far away. They have undetectable submarines, so it’s just a matter of hours until they meet the buyer. It’s over.”
I turn around and throw myself on Sam, pushing with the gun on his fresh wound. He screams in pain.
“So they’re leaving from the harbor. Who are they?” I shout.
Sam tries hard not to scream of pain, but the gun gets deeper into his flesh, and I see his eyes goggling.
“Your life is in my hands now, and I’m the only one who can save you right now. Do you prefer prison or a horrible death right here? The choice is yours but make your mind quickly, because I’m done playing. Do you really think that I believed you for a second?”
The pain makes him scream from the bottom of his lungs, and the blood flows from the wounds.
“Habib Murman!” he finally screams. “The ship leaves the harbor in two hours!”
“Keep talking!” I shout.
“I don’t know any other names, just this one. I made the deal with him! I don’t know how many they are or what they’re planning to do with it, but it’s obvious that they plan to sell it abroad, and the buyers who will use the data will keep our country out of problems! They promised me! I don’t know anything else, I swear!”
“And you gave them the chip knowing that they could hurt other countries or even yours?! You’re an idiot!”
“They’ve paid me a lot! I was going to leave tonight with a private airplane! To run out of the country! I have another identity, clear pass, everything!”
“So Stan knew what you were up to… And we would have left with you if he hasn’t been caught. You sold this country! You sold the people and you sentence us to death for money!”
He didn’t answer my question. I hit him hard on the head with the gun, leaving him unconscious.
“Bring me those wires”, I tell Dylan.
“But I thought…”
“I really should be an actress, don’t you think?”
He ties Sam up on a column. I lift up the tablet from the ground.
“I recorded him. Here’s the evidence we need to prove your innocence.”
Dylan stares at me shocked.
“You’ve planned it all along. Even I couldn’t think that far… But I still have a question.”
“Why people didn’t recognize me when I got down from the car. And at the store? The internet is full of my pictures. I’m a wanted man.”
“They probably didn’t think that you were the one from the photos. Or maybe they appeared after that. It’s good that we found out. Now we know that we have to prove that you are innocent.”
“And who will listen to us? What if they won’t listen to us? They will shoot us!”
“We will do anything in our power.”
His shocked face, full of bruises and blood, but also his lost look from his eyes, made him seem a helpless person. I was about to laugh, but I remembered I was wounded too, and badly.
Dylan takes the phone from one of the men who was lying on the ground and calls Dalia. He explains to them where we are, approximately, leaving Ted to locate us using the mobile phone. They had seen Dylan’s picture on the TV, so they were expecting some explanations about what was really happening.
While we were waiting for them, we were thinking about their reactions when they were going to see the way we looked like and what was around us. He hadn’t told them what was happening because he didn’t want to bring others to us before. Ted had managed to make the call impossible to track by the others, due to the short time of the conversation. But for him it wasn’t impossible, so we were expecting them soon.
“How did you realize that he was lying? It made sense what he was saying.”
“I didn’t. I just knew that I wasn’t wrong this time. I had faith.”
The bleeding from my abdomen had stopped, but it hurt like hell when I was moving around.
“I believed you for a second when you turned the gun on me.”
“I needed you to believe me. I wanted to make him believe that I was going to kill him. It was the only way how I could make him admit what he did. I saw in his eyes that he’s afraid of dying.”
Dylan remains silent for a second, and then he looks me in the eye.
“I killed these two… I shot them.”
“You did it to protect us. They were trying to kill us.”
“I know, but a lot of bad memories came back to me.”
After a long pause, when his eyes were staring at nothing, he looks up.
“I’ve retired from the field and moved to the office because I’ve messed up on a mission. Do you remember when I told you that I’ve killed people before?”
“Well, it all happened on the last mission. I had shot criminals before, but I never let myself carried away.”
The sadness in his voice was too deep, and I could see the regret in his green eyes, which sparkled ready to let the tears flow.
“You don’t have to tell me this.”
“I know, but I’ve never told anyone this, and I never said this out loud. He was a horrible man. He had abused a seven years old girl. He ran into the woods, and when I found him I told him to stop running. He finally stopped after I shot in the air. But before my colleagues got there, I asked him why he did that. His answer shocked me. I remember it clearly how he said: “Because I wanted to.”
I remained silent and I turned goosebumps. I knew that there were bad people in this world, but I never thought that someone could say that.
“I saw black before my eyes and I couldn’t control my reaction. He was standing in one place, without any intention of running, I pulled the trigger. I was his executioner. I just executed him right there. He fell on the ground, shot in the head. When they came, my colleagues assumed that he didn’t stop when I fired the first bullet, and I didn’t tell them the truth. That was how I kept my job.”
I knew how things were working into this country, but I could never judge Dylan for what he had done. Not after all that I’ve seen. I go near him and hug him. He remains in the initial position, stone cold.
“I wanted to shoot Sam. I still want to put a bullet into his brain, but I know that I will let him go away too easily. I want him to suffer, not to get away. You, on the other hand, got rid of one person that would have done that again. He would have gone back on the streets if he would have been imprisoned, and he would have started doing that again. With Sam is different because I know he would receive the maxim punishment. So, stop blaming yourself. You’ve paid enough for that mistake.”
“But these two men…”
“Cold-blooded murderers. Look at what they’ve done to you! Look at you! Look at me!”
Dylan still has the initial position, but I feel him relaxing when I put my arms around his neck. The wound hurts me like hell, but I swallow the pain and I get away from his arms, looking at him.
“I’ve set myself free, somehow”, he says.
It’s silence for a second, and then a thought crosses my mind. I feel the need to open up to him, so I start talking.
“I wanted to put an end to my life, that night on the bridge. I will thank Raisa the rest of my life that she was there. By some miracle or Universe’s plan, I don’t know how, but she was there. And she saved me without knowing it. And then she saved me again when she offered me a job. And again, when she took me to the barn. And again, when she told me that you were her brother. And then it was your turn when you didn’t give up on me, no matter what I’ve done or how stupid I acted. You were there and pulled me back, you insisted until you brought me to my breaking point. So, I’m grateful forever to you guys, because without knowing or wanting it, you saved not only my life but also my past, my memories, and my soul.”
Without saying anything else, he catches my lips into a salted kiss with the taste of blood, but it still felt good. It was like fresh air in the middle of what was happening. Yes, everything is a madness around us, but I recovered my soul, which I almost threw away, in the middle of this madness. And it feels so good.
There were still falling pieces of wood and walls where Sam had tried to bury me alive. We sat on the ground, wounded and tired, waiting for our friends. Sam was lying on the ground, with his hands tied up, and I was trying not to scream of pain, while Dylan was checking his body, his ribs, if they were still there or if there was something missing.
“The wheel is spinning”, I suddenly say. “It turned around now too, you murderer and liar”, I continue, throwing Sam angry looks. “Our parents left the revenge to us, and you lost the battle. You disappointed your idol.”