I had been asleep when the exodus ship crashed but the next morning I heard all about it. From what I gathered, the Ark was sending soldiers to help us protect ourselves against the grounders' attacks. Clarke's mom, the doctor, was also on the ship.
"Aren't you going to look at the crash sight with the others?" Monty asked me.
I shook my head. "No, it's just the fighters and the leaders, I'm neither. I'm just Maia."
"You're Robin Hood."
I had heard the nickname so many times I didn't cringe anymore, but I still didn't like it. "Yeah, well, that's not worth much here."
"If you'd stuck around after we landed you'd be in Clarke's position now."
"Maybe, but probably not. I'm not a leader, I'm just a girl."
"If you say so."
"I'm not bitter about not being asked to go. I told them I didn't want to be in on their good-time gang, they're just respecting that. Anyway, what are they going to find out there that they can't tell me about later? It's just going to be some debris and charred bones, if that."
"Yeah, I guess. I feel bad for Clarke, there's no way her mom made it."
"Yeah, me too," I said. "How's Jasper been handling his newfound fame?"
"Pretty well, we got a new tent so that's nice," Monty told me.
"Ooh perks of befriending the town hero."
"You're one to talk, you showed up out of the blue and Bellamy just handed you one of the biggest tents. All because he felt bad."
"Hey now, we're all just doing what it takes to make it. I'm not going to apologize, I need my space." He laughed. "Tell me when they get back, ok?" He nodded. I weaved through camp to where Jasper was entertaining an audience with the story of his heroic shot.
"I saw those grounders and instinct took over, I barely had time to panic," Jasper was saying. He acted out shooting the grounders.
"That's a lie," I interrupted. "Raven and I thought you were going to have an aneurism."
He grinned and pulled me into a bear hug. "Just keeping it interesting, Maia! You know how these things are, I'm sure your stories get bigger the more you tell them to."
"I'm sure they would," I said. He looked at his audience, as if to say see what I mean. "If I ever told them." A few people laughed. I slung my arm around his waist and steered him away from the crowd. "Walk with me, friend." A few people stepped towards us. "Alone."
"Don't worry, I'll be back in a few. Have to keep our royal highness happy," he told them. I rolled my eyes.
"Listen Jasper, I get that you want to revel in your big moment for a little bit."
"They love me!"
"Yeah, I can see that. Just don't let this all go to your head, ok?"
"You're just jealous that you didn't capitalize on your heroics when you had the chance," he said it in a joking manner but his eyes told me that was really what he thought.
"That's not it at all. I didn't run around telling everyone about the things I did on the Ark, because that reduces the good I've done. I don't care what anyone else thinks about me; I know how many lives I've saved. A quiet hero is better than an obnoxious one."
"Now you're calling me obnoxious?"
I groaned. "Jasper, I like you, you're nice, and you're funny. You don't need a bunch of stupid jerks that barely noticed you before to be cool. Eventually your appeal will start to fade and their affection will go with it."
"They're my friends."
"No, Monty is your friend. I'm your friend," I reminded him. "And as your friend, I'm going to keep my distance until you get off your high horse. Because when your five minutes of fame is up, I don't want to hate you, I want to be here to give you a hug."
The others still hadn't returned by nightfall, but someone else had. Not long after arriving Bellamy and Clarke had banished someone for causing a little girl to kill herself. The camp had been so crazy, no one noticed me in the walls when they'd kicked him out. After that I had stayed closer to camp until I was sure he was far enough away to not be a problem for me.
Everyone just stopped and stared at him, as he was dragged in. "That's Murphy," Monty said running up behind me.
"Yeah, I know who he is." I half expected someone from the crowd to try and kill him but no one made a move. In fact, no one made a move to do anything with him at all. "Take him inside the ship, keep guards on him! He looks bad now but we all know how dangerous he can be. The rest of you get back to work, this doesn't concern you. Bellamy and Clarke should be back soon," I ordered the guys holding him. Immediately everyone was moving again, following my orders.
Monty side eyed me. "Not a leader, my ass."
"Nope, apparently just the only one who knows how to think when our leaders aren't around."
"You should probably go in there."
"You may not like it, but for the time being, you're in charge."
I groaned but he was right. "As soon as Bellamy and Clarke get back send them my way." He nodded and I headed into the ship. Murphy was sitting against the wall with the guards flanking him.
"Who are you?" He asked me.
"Not important. Why are you here?"
"Not important," he mocked.
"Really, that's how you're playing it? In case you didn't notice, I have the upper hand here, would you like me to throw you back out and let the grounders deal with you."
"You wouldn't do that, you need me to talk."
"I don't need anything from you, I'm not in charge here."
He laughed, but it turned into a cough. "You don't even have a gun." I held out my hand and one of the guards put a gun in it.
"What was that?"
"You aren't going to shoot me, you need me alive."
"I told you, I don't need you. Anyway, there a lot of nonlethal places to shoot someone."
I heard footsteps behind me. I looked over my shoulder to see Bellamy, Finn and Clarke coming in. "What's going on?"
I lowered the gun. "Just making sure he doesn't try anything."
"He looks too injured to try anything," Finn said.
"He's well enough to be a jackass."
"That's just his personality," Bellamy mumbled.
"We found him trying to sneak back into camp," one of the guards said. I retreated to the side of the room and placed the gun back on the rack.
"I wasn't sneaking anywhere, I was running from the grounders," Murphy told them.
"Did anyone see any grounders?" Bellamy asked the guards and then looked at me. "Did you send anyone out to look?"
"We didn't see anyone," one of the guards told him, before I was forced to answer.
"Alright then," Bellamy said. He held up his gun and Finn jumped in front of him.
"No! We're not going to shoot him."
"Finn's right, once he's better and we can find out what he knows, he's gone," Clarke said. She went over to Murphy and inspected him.
"Fine," Bellamy said. He motioned for me to follow him out.
"Monty said you handled the situation well."
"Yeah, I guess. They were just sort of standing there and no one else was going to speak up."
"You were holding Murphy at gunpoint."
"Yeah, I wasn't really going to shoot him. But it was kind of fun to act like I was."
"Look at you, Robin Hood."
"Oh please, not you too."
He laughed. "I'm just kidding. But seriously, if you change your mind about joining the – what did you call it? Oh right, the save the day dream team – we could always use another voice."
"Yeah, well, I already have enough going on in my life without the added stress of being responsible for the rest of the hundred."
"Like I said, if you change your mind."
The next day I was walking to Raven's tent when I saw one of the guards that had brought Murphy in start coughing up blood. Clarke and Raven walked past me. "What's going on?" I asked.
"I think Murphy brought something back, don't touch anyone we don't know who's infected," Clarke told me. "And bring me Bellamy." Clarke headed towards the ship and I went to Bellamy's tent.
"Bell, something's wrong. Clarke says people are getting sick, I think she's got it too," I told him.
"Did it come from Murphy?" He asked.
"Yeah, that's what she said."
We hurried to the ship where Clarke was questioning Murphy. She turned to face us when we came in. "We've been waiting for the grounders to make their move, well this is it, and Murphy is the weapon."
"I didn't know about this, I swear," Murphy said. He looked worse than he had the day before.
"Like hell you didn't," Bellamy said, stepping towards him. I reached out and grabbed his arm to pull him back.
"It spreads through touch, you should keep your distance," Clarke told him. "We need to quarantine. Get anyone who had contact with Murphy in here, now."
"By now they could have each infected a dozen people," I realized.
"Well we have to start somewhere," she said.
"Maia, you should go back to your tent. Stay away from everyone," Bellamy told me. One of the guards who'd been with me earlier started coughing violently and then dropped. Clarke rushed to him and checked his pulse.
"Is he dead?" I asked.
She nodded. The other guard looked terrified that the same would happen to him. "Connor, who else was with you when you brought Bellamy in."
"The first person to reach him was Octavia."
I was out of the ship before anyone could say anything else, Bellamy was right behind me. We walked right in to Octavia's tent and she jumped. "What do you want?"
"Yesterday, when you found Murphy, did you touch him?" I asked.
"Octavia, answer the question," Bellamy pressed.
"Maybe? I probably did. What's going on?"
"There's a virus, it's bad. Clarke needs to look at you," I told her. She stood up, and came with us without argument. She didn't look sick and everyone else who'd been in contact with Murphy the day before was already showing serious symptoms.
Clarke was waiting for us inside. "Are you sick?" Octavia asked her. Clarke nodded.
"Is this a good idea?" I asked. "If Octavia isn't sick, you could infect her."
"I won't touch her." She held up a light and instructed Octavia to pull back her hair so she could look at her ears, and had her open her mouth. "She isn't showing symptoms, yet. She should stay here, just in case."
"No way, she'll get sick just from looking at these people," Bellamy argued.
"I'll keep her on the third level with those that aren't showing symptoms," Clarke assured him. "Do you want to contain this or not?" After a moment he nodded. "Maia, are you sure you didn't have contact with Murphy, Derek or Connor before we got back?"
"Ok, you two should go."
"Maia, you should go back to your tent," Bellamy told me.
"You told me you wanted my help."
"I would rather you not get sick." He added, "Maia, please."
I nodded. "Alright, fine. But you know where to find me if you need anything."
I had just dozed off when there were gunshots from outside. I ran out of my tent to see Clarke holding her gun above her head and several other people pointing guns at each other. "What the hell?" I muttered. I noticed sick people among the crowd.
"To state the obvious, your quarantine isn't working," Bellamy told Clarke.
"Octavia will bring back a cure," she said.
"There isn't one," Octavia said pushing through the crowd. "But it will pass in a few days, the grounders don't use it to kill."
"Then why did they bother?" I asked.
"It's to weaken us for their attack. They come at first light."
"How many bullets can you make by first light?" Bellamy asked Raven.
"I'll help you," I told her. Bellamy nodded at us and we went to her tent to start working.
"We're running out of gunpowder," Raven informed me. "We can't waste it."
"Of those left, who's a good shot?" I asked.
She shrugged. "Most of our shooters are sick."
"Great, so we're doomed. Well, it's been nice knowing you."
"Do you really think the grounders would have shot those arrows?" She asked me.
I shrugged. "I don't know, if I could go back and stop Jasper from shooting…But what if they weren't there for peace? At least Clarke and Finn and Octavia are alive."
Bellamy came in with Monty, Jasper, and a girl named Harper. "Brought more help."
"Ok, we're doing five bullet's to a clip, you guys start loading them and I'll keep filling these bullets up," Raven instructed.
"Why only five?" Monty asked.
"We're running out of gunpowder," I told him.
"So basically we're screwed," he mumbled.
"The quicker we get this done the better."
Finn stepped into the tent. "It won't matter if there's no one left to shoot. What we need to do is slow them down and buy us some time."
"Sounds good, but how?" I asked.
"Murphy told us he crossed a bridge on his way here, sound familiar?" We all nodded. "If we blow that bridge up it won't stop them but it should keep them back for a little bit."
"That bridge has withstood a lot, what makes you think it's going to be so easy to tear down?" I asked.
Everyone was quiet for a moment. Raven broke the silence, "It won't survive me."
We went with Raven to get the rocket fuel from the crash that she needed to make the bomb. I stepped over a charred skeleton. "Huh, I was right. Debris and bones," I mumbled.
"How are you holding up?" Monty asked.
"Well, I'm not sick. So that's a plus. The idea of being killed by a grounder is putting a damper on things though. How's Jasper?"
"He kicked me out of our tent."
I rolled my eyes. "I tried talking to him, I swear I did."
"He's not listening to anyone right now."
"I think he'll get over it eventually. Don't give up on him, ok?"
"I wasn't planning on it."
"I've got it!" Raven called. "Let's head back!"