Fallout

Chapter 2

As soon as Clarke stepped out of the tent where she'd been talking to the Chancellor, I ambushed her. "I couldn't help but overhear the council telling you about a supply bunker."

"You mean you were eavesdropping?"

"Accidentally." She raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, fine, I may have been eavesdropping. But, come on, you need someone to go with you and I have cabin fever."

"I do need help, but not from you."

"I'm good at stuff like this! You can disapprove of my lifestyle, but you have to admit I can be useful."

"Fine, you can come. Just give me a minute. Get us some water or something." She walked toward the drop ship. I ducked into her tent and grabbed her canteen and went to fill it up. When I came out of the water tent, Clarke was walking towards me with Bellamy at her side.

"No way."

"He's coming with us," Clarke told me. "If you want to go, you have to put up with him. I don't need you." I groaned.

"Don't look so excited, Maia, you might get a reputation for being friendly."

I rolled my eyes. "Can we just get out of here?" I handed her the canteen.

"Yeah, let's go." We headed outside of the wall and into the woods. As soon as the sounds of the rest of the hundred had faded away I felt so much better. I walked a few paces behind Bellamy and Clarke so I didn't have to talk to them.

We'd been walking for probably an hour or so when Bellamy pulled some rations out of his bag. "Hungry?"

"I'm fine," I mumbled. Clarke rolled her eyes and took the packet from him and threw it to me.

Clarke glanced at the massive backpack Bellamy had brought. "You realize this is just a day trip, right?"

"A lot can happen in a day. It's always best to be prepared."

We came to a clearing where the ruins of buildings were spread in front of us. "Well, it's supposed to be around here somewhere."

"You really think it hasn't been touched since the was?" Bellamy asked.

Clarke shrugged. "It's worth a shot."

"If we split up we can cover more ground," I suggested. Bellamy and I turned in opposite directions and Clarke went straight down the ledge. I weaved around the ruins looking for any sort of door that might lead to an underground bunker. The longer I looked, the more distracted I got. From here I could barely see Clarke. If I turned away from her, I could pretend like I was alone. I popped open the packet Clarke had given me and snacked as I walked.

There was a rustling in the bushes behind me and I jumped. When I turned around no one was there. I figured it was probably just an animal, but you could never be too careful. I headed back towards Clarke. "Find anything?" She called, as I got closer.

"No, what about you?" I asked. She shook her head and started to walk towards me. When she stepped down there was a hollow thump, we both stopped and she stamped her foot down again.

"Help me clear up these weeds." We knelt down and started pulling at the dead weeds that had buried the door. "Bellamy!" Clarke called up the hill. He looked down. "We found it."

Bellamy hopped down next to us as I pulled up the last of the weeds. Clarke pushed down on the door handle but it didn't budge. "Watch your feet," Bellamy warned. We both stepped out of the way and he hit the handle a few times with his axe till it loosened up and Clarke could open it.

The inside of the bunker was dark and musty smelling and as we descended the stairs we ran into spider web after spider web. "This is disgusting," I mumbled.

"So much for living down here," Clarke said. She handed each of us a flashlight from her bag and we started to search the tunnels. I popped open a few containers, some were empty and the ones that weren't, were wet.

"Any food down here is either ruined or gone," I told her. She opened another crate; this one was full of blankets. "Those'll be useful if we can find some more of them."

"Damn it," Bellamy said. "We need food and tents and-" He kicked over a bucked full of water which spilled across the floor. He stopped and looked down.

"What?" Clarke said, walking towards him.

"Guns."

OoOoO

Bellamy set up a target and started testing the guns. He handed one to Clarke who took it reluctantly. "You may not like it but you need to learn to defend yourself," Bellamy told her. He turned towards me. "You too."

I took a step back. "I'm not touching one of those."

"There are nonlethal places to shoot someone," he said.

"And there are a lot of lethal ones too," I said. "Have fun, I'm going to keep looking. These tunnels go on forever." Before I even got down the hallway I could hear the shots. I ran, wanting to put as much distance between them and me as I could.

I hadn't realized I'd closed my eyes until I ran into something. When I opened them, I screamed. Standing in front of me was a man. He was wearing a guard's uniform and had a buzz cut, and I recognized him immediately. I began to retreat. He was facing the wall and slowly he turned towards me, half his face was missing exposing his jaw. I screamed again and backed up quicker until I ran into the wall.

"You did this," he said. His mouth moved oddly due to the hole in his cheek but his voice was strong and clear. I shook my head fiercely. "You killed me."

"I didn't want to," I whimpered.

"You should have died, they sliced you open but that bitch put you back together again."

"I panicked! It was self defense!" I screamed at him. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

"No one made you grab my gun. No one made you pull the trigger. You can blame Bellamy for what you did, but that doesn't change the fact that you're a killer."

"I know! I know what I did! Just let me go, please!"

"You'll pay for what you've done." He lunged at me and I sprinted down the hall towards the door up to the clearing. I could hear the guard behind me and I clambered up the stairs into the fresh air.

When I turned around he was still there, but in the crisp air I realized how crazy I was behaving. "This isn't real, you aren't real!"

"It doesn't matter if I'm real, I'll haunt you forever. You killed me." I pressed my eyes together and when I opened them he was gone. I heard shouting, this time I had a feeling I wasn't imagining things. I ran towards the sound and found Bellamy on his knees.

"Bellamy?"

He turned towards me but he wasn't looking at me, he was looking behind me. I turned but there was no one there. "Kill me!" He yelled.

"Bellamy, whatever you're seeing it isn't real!" I yelled at him.

"I've hurt so many people," he said. "I've suffered enough. Kill me!"

"Well since you asked so nicely," someone said. A guy I'd seen back at camp stepped out of the trees. He lunged at Bellamy and I panicked. I ran towards him and threw my entire body weight at him. He stumbled backwards and dropped his gun, but he shoved me to the ground and I landed hard on my shoulder.

A sharp pain spread through my back and I tried to roll over. Bellamy and the kid were fighting and I searched for something to help. My eyes landed on the gun and I reached for it, stretching out my arm hurt but I wrapped my fingers around the handle and pulled it towards me. My hands were shaking as I aimed the gun but I pulled the trigger as soon as I got a clear shot, only nothing happened.

I dropped the gun just as Clarke ran up and fired her own gun. She missed but it was enough of a distraction for Bellamy to grab a fallen bullet and drive it into his attacker's neck. Bellamy shoved the guy off of him and sat up. He walked towards the tree where Clarke was already sitting. Unwilling to push myself to my feet, I just turned my body to face them. We were all breathing heavily and for a minute no one spoke.

"You're ok," Clarke told Bellamy.

"No, I'm not. My mother raised me to be better than this, to be good. All I do is hurt people." He looked at me and I held his gaze. "I can't apologize to anyone else. They're all dead. I'm so sorry."

"I killed a man, Bell. I'm a killer because of you."

"It wasn't your fault, blame me."

"I do," I told him. "But, I was going to kill that kid, I pulled the trigger, for you."

"None of us would have survived here without you," Clarke told him. "We need you, you can't just run."

I looked between Bellamy and Clarke. "You were going to run?" He nodded. I didn't have the energy to move very far, so I shoved his leg angrily. "You can't do that! You can't just leave!"

"Why? Octavia hates me, you hate me, what's the point?"

"You want forgiveness? Then stick around and earn it!"

"I don't deserve it."

"Stop pitying yourself. You screwed up. That doesn't mean you aren't forgivable. Do you think I would have tried to save your life if I thought you were beyond redemption?" I asked. After a beat I added, "And I don't hate you. I want to, but I don't."

"It's our responsibility to keep everyone alive, you can't just abandon them," Clarke said. "That's a good first step towards redemption, right?" Clarke looked at me, urging me to agree, and I nodded. "You have to come back."

"Jaha will kill me when he gets here," he said. I didn't know what he'd done but I was sure I'd rather not find out.

"We'll figure it out," Clarke told him.

"Can we figure it out later?"

"Whenever you're ready," she said.

OoOoO

After we rested we went back down to the bunker to get the rest of the guns. Clarke found bags big enough for us to fill up and we each carried a duffle back to camp. Back at camp everyone looked a little out of it. Whatever had caused the three of us to hallucinate, had clearly affected them too.

"The grounder's gone!" Someone yelled.

"Let them come," Bellamy said. "We've been afraid of them for too long." We all opened the bags and showed everyone the guns.

"These are for protection, they aren't toys," Clarke said. "And when the drop ships come we need to be prepared to turn them in to the guard."

"Tomorrow we start training," Bellamy said. "Everyone needs to be able to defend themselves." He looked at me. "Everyone." A chill ran down my spine at the thought of firing another gun but I knew he was right. I had to put aside everything that had happened on the Ark if I was going to survive. Down here on Earth it was kill or be killed.

OoOoO

I found Octavia later, alone, wrapped in a blanket. "Hey."

She turned around and patted the ground next to her. She opened her blanket and I sat down next to her and pulled it around my shoulders. "Have fun out there?" She asked.

"Something like that. Your brother is in there talking to Jaha."

"You think the chancellor will pardon Bell for shooting him?" She asked.

"Bellamy shot the chancellor?" I asked, surprised.

"To come down here with me." She rolled her eyes.

"He loves you, that's why he does it all. As stupid as it may seem." She just grunted. "That grounder, you set him free, didn't you?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said with a tiny smile.

"Um hmm. How'd you do it?"

"Oh come on, you'd never reveal your secrets."

I laughed. "I taught you well." She hugged me and I rubber her shoulder. "You ok?"

"Maybe. I don't know yet. What about you?"

"Maybe."

She laid her head on my shoulder. "I'm glad you're here, Maia."

"I am too."

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