To Clarke's surprise, Lexa led her directly to her bedchamber and not the meeting room. They had been informed earlier about the arrival of all the leaders in the meeting room. Lexa entered her bedroom and kept the door open for Clarke to follow her in. Which she did. She then waited for Lexa to say something but Lexa disappeared in her bath chamber without a word and, sighing, Clarke took a seat on the soft bed. After a few minutes, Lexa re-entered the room and all hair on Clarke's body stood up just by looking at her. Gone was the soft, tender look of the Commander, gone was Lexa. In front of Clarke stood 'the Commander'- black kohl covered her eyes, concealing the green there, concealing the warmth and compassion. But Clarke looked in deep, searching for traces of the woman she came to know in the privacy of their encounters and confidences, and finally found them there. She breathed a sigh of relief.
"It's time to go, Clarke of the Sky People."
"I can see, Commander." Clarke muttered as she followed Lexa, who was walking briskly.
They walked in silence and Clarke couldn't help but feel really nervous. She knew the grounder leaders wouldn't be impressed by her looks. Who was she kidding? She could never have the ruthless, merciless look even if she wanted to. But she also knew they knew she was the one who took the Mountain down. In addition, she was also aware that she would be judged on the merit whether or not she could overthrow Lexa. On one hand, Clarke didn't want to be pursued in that direction but on the other hand, she couldn't let herself appear weak in front of other clan leaders. Just thinking of all this made her head spin and made the butterflies in her stomach come to life. She took deep breaths in order to calm herself down, ignoring the fact that the Commander could hear her. She had much more hostile people to please. Just before they reached the chestnut colored door of the meeting room, Lexa stopped and turned to face Clarke. She willed her mask to slip off her face and, squeezing Clarke's arm reassuringly, said,
"You have nothing to worry about, Clarke. You are under my protection."
Clarke barely managed to nod before the doors were opened for them and Lexa walked in, taking lead, looking as regal and fearful as ever.
The meeting was going better than Clarke had hoped. Lexa had briefed all the leaders about their current situation and they all had surprisingly listened to it very patiently. Once she had finished, Clarke was bombarded with questions on how she planned to used 'her technology' to destroy the bomb.
"My people have built a machine - an EMP generator - which will disable all the electronic equipments in the area."
"Are you sure this will work?" One of the leaders, whose name Clarke failed to recall, asked.
Clarke definitely wasn't sure but she didn't need the look from Lexa telling her to lie. She knew she had to lie not to cause an argument. So she did. She made everyone believe that she had the solution to the problem. Just then, Jared, who had been silent the entire time, spoke up,
"How can we trust that you will not use the weapon against us?"
Lexa glared dangerously at him but he didn't take his eyes off Clarke. Clarke remembered he was the one who had argued last time as well, when they had agreed for a peace treaty with the Sky People.
"You can't. But you don't have a choice."
Silence followed Clarke's words and then, all of a sudden, the room was filled with loud voices. Some shouted "kill the Sky girl" while others agreed they had no choice.
"Enough!" Lexa said, raising her voice above all the others.
"Clarke informed us of the magnitude of the destruction we will suffer if the bomb is not stopped." Lexa explained, turning her face towards Clarke.
"It's a nuclear bomb which means it is much more deadly than a normal bomb. This bomb, if it explodes, will wipe out entire cities. If it is dropped on Ton DC then it's damage radius will include both Polis and the Ice Nation." Clarke said, pointing her finger on the map placed on the table.
"Polis and Ice Nation are on the opposite sides of the land." The Ice Queen, Avina, said in disbelief.
"That is what the magnitude of its destruction will be." Clarke said gravely.
"The area includes half of our clans." Lexa added.
Murmurs flowed in the room as the clan leaders started discussing the matter among themselves. They knew their Commander would want their answer as soon as the information sank in.
Michael of the Wolf Clan, who was standing beside Clarke, whispered to her,
"I trust you in your abilities, Wanheda."
Then, in a loud voice, he said,
"Heda, the Wolf Clan agrees with your decision. You have our support and we will help you in any way possible."
Lexa nodded her head in Michael's direction in acknowledgement.
"Forgive me, Heda but I cannot put the faith of my entire clan in the hands of a girl." The woman representing the Skin Clan spoke.
"Do you doubt her abilities even after the mountain?" Lexa asked.
"I don't but I think this is bigger than her. I say we try to find a different way."
"YOU KNOW THERE IS NO OTHER WAY!" Clarke said angrily.
"Clarke, let them speak what they want." Lexa said sharply, not bothering to look at the blonde. Clarke clenched her jaws but nodded nonetheless.
In the end, 5 clans sided with Clarke and 5 against her. However, The Ice Queen being the only one who hadn't given her decision yet. Clarke frowned; she trusted her counting skills and concluded that the number of leaders present, other than Lexa and her, were 11, not 12.
"Avina?" Lexa urged the Ice Queen.
"Commander, I would have your general of Polis vote first."
"Very well. We shall wait for her arrival then."
Clarke whispered in Michael's ear,
"What if it ends in a tie?"
"Then you will lose." He stated simply.
She opened her mouth to ask him further about the voting method when the doors opened and the general of Polis walked in.
"Vera?" Clarke mouthed in disbelief.
Vera walked towards the end of the table where Lexa was standing and bowed at her respectfully.
"Heda. I am sorry for being late."
Lexa dipped her head before asking, "Is it done?"
Clarke knew she was being asked about the EMP and she inwardly sighed in relief as she heard the positive answer from Vera.
Then, turning around to her fellow leaders, she said,
"Welcome to Polis everyone. The Skaikru have been staying here which is why I am already aware of the matter at hand. Kindly proceed with the discussion." She said in an unwavering yet polite voice.
"You are required to vote on whether or not you support Clarke's proposition for destroying the bomb." Lexa informed her.
"I have spent time with Clarke's people and believe that they have the power to stop this bomb. My answer is yes." She said looking at Clarke who nodded gratefully at her.
"Avina, only you are left to decide now." Lexa spoke calmly.
"It doesn't matter what I choose, or what any of us choose. You are Heda, you can do whatever you wish for." Avina said in a mocking tone.
"Heda has always valued our opinions, Avina. Don't try to demean her." Luna spoke in her defense and many of the clan leaders agreed with her verbally. But Avina ignored them and kept staring at Lexa challengingly. Lexa didn't flinch either.
"Yes, I do have the power to not consider what you have to say but my people come first. Their wishes come first. You all represent my people so I value your opinions."
"Tell me, if I side against the Skaikru, will you reject the proposition or not?"
Clarke sucked in a breath. She knew Avina has put Lexa in a very precarious position; on one hand, there was Clarke and her beliefs and on the other, her clan leaders and their beliefs. Clarke thought it didn't matter whether Lexa believed her or not, she could not pick Clarke over her people and so she knew Lexa's answer even before it left her mouth.
"Yes, I will." Lexa said evenly but her eyes looked murderous. Avina smirked.
These words were a bitter reminder for Clarke that, no matter how close she and Lexa became, Lexa would always put her people before Clarke in her priority list. She had known this all along but she couldn't help but feel a pang in her heart at the words. She bit her lower lip hard until she felt the metallic taste in her mouth. Lexa could never becompletely Clarke's. She had known this all along as well but that knowledge, worded here before all with Lexa's answer, still wasn't any less painful. Lexa would again leave her at the Mountain to die if her people were involved.
"Avina, I need your answer. I do not have all day." Lexa said in a low voice, grinding her teeth.
Avina walked towards Clarke and said,
"I haven't ever seen you in action Clarke of the Sky People, I have only heard that you took down the Mountain. I do not know what part you played in its downfall but I do know because of you we are no longer threatened by the Mountain. I may have doubts regarding you as a warrior but I do not doubt you as a leader and thus my answer is yes, I will support you."
"Very well, it's been decided that we will follow Clarke's lead on this matter. Sha?"
"Sha." Approval rang in the room.
Clarke nodded, accepting her role.
"Heda, the machine for the initiation of the bomb is in our capitol?" Jared of the Blood Clan asked.
"No, I will journey with the Sky People to the City of Lights to dispose of it."
As soon as these words left the Commander's lips, all the leaders gave her their undivided attention, trying to figure out whether Lexa was serious or not. She had never joked but it was hard to believe what had left the Commander's lips to be true.
"The City of Lights, Commander?" Luna finally asked her in disbelief.
"There is no City of Lights!" Michael snarled.
More protests followed and Clarke looked bewilderedly at Lexa. When Lexa had been told the bomb was in the City of Lights a few days ago, she had not shown the slightest reaction concerning the truth of its existence or lack thereof. Lexa, even now, looked as calm as ever and met Clarke's gaze evenly. But her eyes didn't stay long on her as she moved towards the Desert Clan's Heda and Clarke observed Lexa dip her head lightly.
"There is a City of Light." He spoke, his voice stiff but firm.
"The old man has lost it."
These phrases were heard but no one moved. The situation shifted and the tension became intense when the Blood Clan's Heda unsheathed his sword and, in a swift motion, placed it against the Desert Clan's Heda's throat.
"Back off, Jared." Lexa said in a warning tone.
"Heda, he wants you dead. People who try to follow this absurd notion end up dead. It's a fool's dream."
"I command you to back off this instant Jared." This time her voice showed mercilessness, menace and cruelty.
Jared finally lowered his sword and sheathed it. The Desert Clan Heda, to his credit, remained stoic throughout the exchange. He expected this, Clarke thought.
"The City of Light lies where my deserts end. The people who are banished resort to that place."
"Have you ever been there?" Vera asked.
Everyone knew the weight the question held. Stillness greeted her words, every leader holding their breath for the answer. If the Desert Clan's Heda had been there himself then no one could stop the Commander to go but if he hadn't...
"No, I haven't."
Jared exploded at this.
"Then why would you dare send the Commander to such a quest? Has anyone you know ever been there?"
"Yes, my daughter..." He looked hesitantly at Lexa, debating whether or not to continue.
"Along with me." Lexa completed his sentence and it put to rest all protests.
"Is it safe?" Clarke heard herself ask.
"It wasn't then but Costia and I explored the City and also learnt the safe routes to it." Lexa said monotonously but Clarke could see the pain in her eyes. It was dim, very dim unlike the first time she had spoken of Costia to her. Lexa was still healing but Clarke was content with the progress. She nodded.
"Very well. What do you need from us, Heda?"
The meeting had lasted for nearly 2 hours. Anything and everything about the journey had been discussed. Costia's father guaranteed full protection through the desert and the Ice Queen offered her warriors, which had been politely declined by Lexa. She had insisted for the meeting to continue like any regular meeting and had made her generals brief the situation of their cities to her. The Ice Queen also requested the Desert Heda for a short cut she had wanted to dispatch her trade utilities to the Boat Clan but the Desert Heda hadn't given his consent rather asked for some time before he could allow it. Clarke couldn't blame him; she knew that for him, even talking to Avina civilly knowing she was his daughter's murderer was remarkable. Avina had looked angry to be denied but knew that no one would side with her on the matter and thus had let it go.
Finally, Lexa had dismissed all the leaders from the meeting room except for the Desert Heda, which was why Clarke found herself in the company of Avina.
"You did well, Clarke." The Queen said, standing close to her, her shoulders brushing Clarke's.
"You didn't try to make matters easy." Clarke retorted.
Avina grinned and, turning around, said in a low voice, "I do love your fearlessness, Clarke."
"It is not yours to love."
"Hmm." She said, putting a strand of Clarke's hair behind her ear.
"You have beautiful hair, Clarke." She muttered, taking a step forward but Clarke didn't back down or flinch away.
"What do you want, Avina?" She asked in a bored tone.
"I can see that you have a close relationship with the Commander."
"Don't deny it. I had observed Lexa for a whole year before taking away her lover; I wouldn't have been successful otherwise. I cannot be fooled. She has fallen for you."
Clarke knew when it was pointless to argue so she didn't and instead repeated her question.
"What do you want, Avina?"
"I want you to use your head like Lexa did at the Mountain."
Clarke clenched her teeth at the reminder of the bitter memory. It was a low blow on the Ice Queen's part.
"I am offended. You think I am not using my head?"
"I wouldn't dare. I am here to offer you an alliance with the Ice Nation."
"I see and I believe I cannot be aligned with Trikru if I align with you, am I right?" Clarke asked without missing a beat.
"You are bright." Avina complemented and slowly ran her thumb across Clarke's jaws. Clarke immediately stepped back, which made Avina smirk.
"And you are a killer." She spat.
"Aren't you too, Clarke?"
"At the Mountain-"
"I wasn't talking about the Mountain. You cannot tell me you haven't killed anyone with those soft, beautiful hands of yours." She prompted as she gingerly took one that was resting on her side, balled in a fist, and opened Clarke's fingers.
Clarke gulped. Avina had her there. She had killed even if it was out of necessity.
Avina took Clarke's silence as a victory and continued.
"I offer you to rule by my side, Clarke. Be my equal. The Ice Nation is the biggest clan, I offer you to rule it with me as...a co-Queen." She then started rubbing circles around Clarke's palm. Clarke immediately pulled back.
"Co-Queen?" Clarke snorted. "Did you just create the word? And are you saying what I think you are saying?"
"I don't know what you are thinking Skai Heda, but I would like to have a unity ceremony with you. You are beautiful and intelligent, I think you will be a worthy partner to me."
"Oh? And it has nothing to do with Lexa?"
"I was coming to that. Clarke, I will need you to step up and destroy Lexa."
"How do I do that? You cannot expect me to kill her and end the peace she has built between the clans, a peace that makes my people safe?"
"Your people will be safe, I guarantee you that, because you will be on the victorious side. I, of course, can't have you kill Lexa and have witnesses but your trip to The City Of Lights...it's clear Lexa isn't willing to take any army with her, and you will be close to Lexa there, you can kill her without being blamed for it or having witnesses. You will have plenty of excuses for her death if she dies there."
"What makes you think I will do that? What makes you think I will choose you over Lexa or will choose any at all?"
"You cannot thrive without an alliance on ground, I am sure you know that. As for why I am preferable to Lexa - well, I have never betrayed you, nor wronged you."
"I don't even know you!" Clarke finally said frustrated.
"I am not at all opposed to the idea of us getting to know each other, Clarke." She said moving in Clarke's personal space and, despite whatever was going on in Clarke's mind regarding the proposition, there was no denying that the woman in front of her was a beauty.
"I am not looking for a physical relationship. If that was the case, your Commander isn't too bad herself." Clarke retorted.
"And am I?" The Ice Queen asked smugly, and licked her lips.
"Clarke, knowing each other in furs can only be the beginning. You see, unlike Lexa, I value the people in my life. I protect them. I work with them. I provide them. I cherish them."
"Couldn't even take revenge for her last lover, couldn't let her spirit have peace because she cannot choose her heart over head, ever. I, however, can make exceptions for the ones I own."
"You own?" Clarke spat.
"You will be mine once I claim you Clarke. And claim you, I am eager." She said, leaning in and placing a kiss on Clarke's cheek. She, however, didn't move back and rather stayed in Clarke's proximity, her body pressed to Clarke's. Clarke tried to move back but was met with a pillar.
"Get off me." She said and pushed Avina. She staggered a few feet away from Clarke and smirked.
"You are a cat with sharp claws, but you will find me not complaining in the slightest, trust me."
"I do not want an alliance between the sheets or by killing the Commander, Avina. Thank you for your proposition but I am not going to betray her for you. At least, she knows better than to rip someone's love from them!"
"You judge me too harshly, Clarke. I heard you had to face a hard time from Heda when you landed."
"She had her reasons, which I do not find necessary to discuss with you." Clarke replied angrily.
"I am sure she did but nonetheless it's a shame you landed near the Trikru, I would've given you a much more warmer welcome." Avina said, unabashedly looking at Clarke up and down.
Clarke rolled her eyes.
"I am sure you would have. Now if you will excuse me, I need to prepare to leave for The City of Lights."
Avina smiled and moved aside, only a bit, which made Clarke's shoulder brush against hers as she walked in the opposite direction. However Clarke stopped after taking a few steps.
"Avina, what makes you think what you asked of me will not be told to the Commander?"
"That's a question, isn't it? You see Clarke, Lexa isn't the only one who knows when there's a leader in front of her. I know you are aware that this is all part of how leaderships work and you wouldn't dare tell Lexa in case you accidently plant this threat in Lexa's mind from your side or in case you actually change your mind and decide to work with me. Let's be honest, Lexa can never trust a leader from another clan entirely, not even you. And you wouldn't want her to have doubts about you, would you now?"
And with that, Avina walked away, leaving Clarke to grudgingly agree with her parting words.
Clarke found her friends waiting for her in her room. As soon as she entered, Raven pounced on her.
"Look what I have in my hand?" Raven sang in a singsong voice excitedly as she waved a device that resembled a walkie-talkie in size and shape in the air.
"That's...very small." Clarke commented.
"Well, Princess buzz kill, the size shouldn't be our concern, should it?"
"Right, my bad. Thank you for this guys."
"No prob. We are used to saving the world, Princess." Octavia said jokingly.
"Well, these-" Wick was interrupted by a knock on Clarke's door. They found Vera standing there who informed them that it was time to leave.
"Let's do this!" Raven exclaimed and started walking. Octavia and Wick followed her but Clarke remained behind.
"I wanted to thank you, Vera." Clarke said.
"You don't need to. In fact, it is I who should be thanking you. You've made my friend smile again." Vera said smiling easily, each word full of sincerity and this was what made Clarke realize that she had judged Vera too harshly because of her jealousy of the relation she had enjoyed with the Commander.
"I owe you an apology, Vera. I...I have been cold towards you because I...I thought you were involved with Lexa."
Vera laughed a hearty laugh at this.
"Lexa is beautiful but I have already given my heart to someone else, Sky Princess. I am to wed him soon. Besides, only you can bring that kind of joy to the Commander."
"Now that's a lie. Lexa is herself when she is with you, she is happy."
Vera shook her head slowly. "Not really. She just knows I worry about her a lot and we both know Lexa doesn't like to cause others discomfort and so she pretends or at least used to. This time, for the first time in a long time, her laugh was actually meaningful. So yes, I do owe you a thank you."
Clarke blushed but nodded at the same time.
"Why didn't you ever tell me that you were Lexa's general? Her Polis general? I was so confused as to why you were here in the beginning."
"I thought Lexa had told you. I mean, she did tell you I was also Anya's second; Anya was the general of Polis and Lexa couldn't take her position after her death as she had been called to command."
"That makes a lot of sense. Can I ask you something?"
"If Anya was a mentor to the both of you then...why is Lexa always so formal in her speech while you are...you."
Vera chuckled before explaining.
"Lexa was called in for training at a very young age and had been trained since then. I, however, became Anya's second some years after - when I was of 12 winters. Plus, I have my parents, my friends here in Polis and there's a difference between how warriors communicate and how general public does. Despite being a warrior, I've spent time with the general public more. That's why you can observe the difference in our styles."
Clarke nodded in understanding and then bid Vera goodbye, surprising them both with a hug. Despite Vera assuring her she had no role in fixing Lexa, Clarke knew it was not the case. From what Clarke had finally understood, Vera was like family to Lexa and Clarke knew what family meant; it meant people you could go and turn to at the end of the day, when you are exhausted and broken, it meant people who actually wanted an answer when they asked 'how are you'. And at this moment Clarke was thankful to whatever gods out there for giving Lexa at least one person like that.
The journey to the City of Lights was, in one word, horrible. They had been riding their horses for hours. Occasionally they would stop but it was to give the animals some time to rest and to feed. However, resting seemed useless to Clarke as her thighs ached like crazy and her palms were scratched from holding the reins. She felt no better with the small breaks that they took. She was so tired. Lexa, however, had insisted that they needed to complete the journey tonight as it would be much more uncomfortable to cross the desert in the afternoon, under the scorching heat of the sun. This was motivation enough to keep the Sky People moving. Lexa had only taken up one warrior with her - her name was Echo and Clarke had been informed that she had been among the ones rescued from the Mountain.
Throughout the journey, Wick and Raven's banter kept them entertained and occasionally one of them would join in. Clarke was truly surprised at Raven's energy to talk non-stop. Even when Wick would stop, the girl wouldn't. She hadn't heard her talk this much...since Finn. This thought unexpectedly brought a smile on her face.
Lexa was trotting right next to Clarke's horse and had been witnessing the constant frown on the blonde's face. She felt sorry for her but some part of her was amused too. Because she was observing the same constant expression on Clarke's face for some time and also because nothing did go unnoticed by her, she was pleasantly surprised at the smile that formed on the blonde's face.
"What has you smiling all of a sudden, Clarke?" She asked curiously.
Clarke shook her head before answering, "It's nice to have Raven back."
"I wasn't aware that she had left. Bellamy had only said you did."
"Not 'left' left. She had just...become quiet after Finn's death."
Lexa's brows arched in disbelief before she recomposed herself. Clarke inwardly chuckled.
"It is understandable. Losing someone you love is difficult but her warrior seems to make her happy." Lexa said, gesturing with her head towards Wick.
Clarke nodded and, taking out her pouch of water, said, "I've noticed. He makes her smile again."
"She is lucky to have him as I am to have you."
Lexa said it so smoothly and unexpectedly that water sputtered out from Clarke's mouth.
Lexa chuckled, clearly bemused.
Before Clarke had time to say anything, Echo said something to the Commander in Trigedasleng. Lexa nodded and, turning towards Clarke, said,
"We are almost there."
Once they entered the territory of the City of lights, all the Sky People's mouth dropped open. Echo also had a surprised expression on her face, though it was much better concealed. Clarke rubbed her eyes to confirm she wasn't dreaming. She wasn't. All of them dismounted their horse and tied them to solar panel pillars.
The city was...marvellous but bare. The roads were paved and there even were some vehicles on the road, but no population. Electricity was clearly available thanks to the numerous solar panels.
"What is this?" Echo asked, her voice full of surprise and curiosity, as she peaked inside one of the cars.
"This is known as a car. It was used as a means of transportation before the Earth was bombed." Wick explained, circling the car and looking at it in wonder.
"Wick, does it have a key?" Octavia asked enthusiastically.
"Unfortunately no, but I can spark the-"
"We don't have time for this right now." Lexa said sharply and started moving forward. Clarke nodded towards Wick and followed Lexa. It surprised Clarke how well Lexa knew the place. It made Clarke ponder over Lexa's relationship with Costia, what it must have been like. A young adventurous Lexa exploring the lands with Costia? Living burden-freely, care-freely? Actually living.
"You know this place well." Clarke couldn't help but comment.
Lexa nodded and said, "Like I said, I have been here before."
Then, after a few minutes, she added, "Some of my books come from here. There were a lot of technological things which we failed to understand but books were always a friend."
Clarke detected the pain Lexa was trying to conceal from her stiff gait, from her hold on her sword's hilt. She gently placed her hand on top of hers and applied gentle pressure there, letting her know that she didn't have to face this alone. She didn't need to be haunted by the place on her own.
"Do you have any idea where this bomb could be, Commander?" Raven asked.
"I do and we are going there right now."
"This is a mansion!" Wick exclaimed while Lexa, Echo, Octavia and Clarke unsheathed their swords.
"Ah...you guys are armed." Raven said lamely.
Clarke rolled her eyes at the lack of weapons in the hand of her technical people.
"Octavia hand Wick and Raven the guns you have." She ordered.
"There's no one here!" Wick protested, clearly not wanting to hold the weapon.
"Precaution is better than cure." Clarke muttered as she followed Echo and Lexa who had ignored the Sky People and started moving already.
Lexa kicked open one door after the other but found nothing. There were hundreds of empty rooms.
"We need to go to the top floor. That's where usually control panels are." Raven said as her eyes spotted a staircase. She started walking upwards, without waiting for the others but her injured leg made her slow, which made the others catch up with her easily. Wick wnet past her and took the first step on the floor.
"Guess Raven was right after all." Wick said as he barely dodged gunshots.
"What the hell was that?" Clarke asked, pulling Wick towards her.
"They are here. The Mountain Men. The prisoners lied...there are eight of them. And the control panels are here, the room's door is open."
Clarke was impressed by Wick's observation skills and dipped her head in appreciation.
Just then they heard boots moving towards them.
"Come out boy! We know you are here!"
"We need to get in the control room!" Clarke whispered to Lexa who nodded.
"Echo and Octavia will handle them. You need to slip past us and finish the job."
Clarke looked at Lexa, at those beautiful green eyes. They showed no sign of fear, just determination. They showed the warmth, the love, the affection that Clarke wanted. Clarke borrowed her strength from Lexa and nodded.
Lexa whispered orders to Echo and Octavia in Trigedasleng and got out of their hiding. Blood splattered on Clarke's face as Lexa slit the first man's throat.
"Let's go, Princess!" Raven said and ran past the battlefield to the room at the other end of the floor. Clarke followed her hard on her heels. She knew Wick was right behind her. One of the soldiers spotted them and lunged towards Clarke, which made Clarke presume that he was out of bullets. She didn't hesitate running her sword through him. However she knew she didn't have time to pull it out of his body. She ignored it, letting it stick from the man's abdomen on the ground, and somehow made her way to the room unscathed. Wick, however, hadn't been so lucky and his arm was bleeding badly when he entered the room.
There, instead of relief, they found Raven pointing a gun at a man sitting on the chair right in front of the control panel.
"What are you doing here?" She asked.
He didn't reply so Raven pulled off the safety of the pistol.
"Don't shoot me, please."
"Then speak." Clarke said harshly. It was clear to Clarke that the man wasn't brave.
"We...we had planned to destroy the bomb. It turned out to be impossible but we managed to decrease the magnitude of its destruction. This way we will remain safe while those bloody outsiders...not so much."
"Kill him." Clarke ordered.
Raven didn't need to be told twice.
Wick quickly took over his seat and started tapping on multiple buttons on the keyboard.
"Oh shit." He said after a while.
"They have indeed managed to change the strength of the bomb which will cause minimal destruction. There are two spots where it can be targeted to now."
"One is to the sea near Polis and the other is one near Ton DC."
"How much area does the first location include?" Clarke asked through clenched teeth.
"And the Ton Dc one includes-"
"No, we cannot bomb it. Our people will be targeted there, it's very close to camp Jaha." Raven quickly said.
"And Lexa's people will be targeted in Polis." She retorted.
Wick suddenly got up from his chair and grabbed Clarke's shoulders.
"Clarke, Raven and I need to go to the roof where the silo is. We will disable the bomb with the EMP but in case we fail...these are the two buttons. The right one would make it target Polis and the left, Ton DC. But you won't need to use it. " He added confidently.
"What if I don't press either?"
"Then all the cities will be destroyed. The magnitude will not decrease."
Raven then grabbed two headphones with attached microphones and handed one to Wick. She turned to Clarke and said,
"I have connected these microphones to the system so you will be able to hear us and you will be able to see us though camera number 2." With that she was gone.
Clarke quickly sat down and stared at the monitor with the camera number 2's video feed. There was a huge tank and on it, a little box with some digital numbers. Clarke couldn't read them from the feed. Clarke felt a strange sense of deja vu as she looked at the monitor. She was again sitting in front of a panel fighting for her people in a life or death matter. She felt bile rise up her throat but swallowed it down. Now was not the time.
After a few minutes, she saw Raven and Wick appear on the screen. Clarke found the button to turn up the sound and pressed it.
"We have only 5 minutes, Raven! Press the damn button." Wick's voice echoed through the room as he read the number screen that Clarke had failed to. Clarke sucked in a sharp breath at the words. She felt her eyes sting by the lack of blinking but Clarke couldn't blink. These were very precious moments. This was either life or death. Peacefulness or destruction.
"There are multiple silos, Wick! The EMP isn't powerful enough to disable them all at once. I need to do them one by one." Raven disappeared from the screen, presumably doing the manual work.
"Hand it to me, I will be quicker." Wick's voice reached Clarke. He too had left the camera's range.
Clarke looked at her watch now, her palms sweaty, her breath coming in gasps. 1 minute to go - she wanted to shout to Wick and Raven but knew she couldn't be heard.
A few more seconds and Clarke heard someone enter the room. Taking the gun from her belt, she turned around to face the intruder.
"Lexa!" She felt the momentary relief, as her mouth tasted the name, worshiped it, spoke it.
"Are they successful? " She asked.
"They are trying." 30 seconds.
"Echo and Octavia?" Clarke managed to ask.
"Injured but alive."
Suddenly they heard Raven speak again, "Wick, I think I've found some-"
"Clarke, do it. 13 seconds and counting. I cannot make it. At least 15 more silos. I'm sorry."
Blood drained from Clarke's face at these words. 7 seconds.
"What is he saying?" Lexa asked confused.
Clarke didn't bother to answer instead pressed the button on the right with her hands shaking. 2 seconds.
A deafening, loud bang echoed around the whole mansion and the glass from several windows shattered.
Lexa grabbed Clarke's shoulders painfully and turned her around. The guilty-filled look of Clarke spoke volumes.
"What did you do?" She snarled.
"I am so sorry Lexa. I...I had no choice." She spoke brokenly.
"Tell me what you did Clarke!" She screamed in Clarke's ears.
"I targeted Polis to save-"
Clarke wasn't given the chance to finish her sentence as the Commander roughly shoved her to the wall and drew her sword. She placed it over Clarke's neck, applying pressure, making red liquid run down Clarke's throat.
"I had no choice, Lex-Lexa." Clarke croaked.
"You've destroyed me, Clarke. I am the Commander of my people, it is my job to protect them but now...I have no one to protect. You didn't kill them, you killed me." And just like that, the sword is dropped on the floor and hands replaced it. Hands trying to strangle Clarke. Clarke, however, reacted faster and kicked Lexa's right leg making her lose balance and fall to the ground. Then, just like Lexa had taught her, she pinned both of Lexa's hands on either sides of her and dug her shoes in Lexa's legs, making it impossible for her to move.
"You can kill me if you want but allow me to say just one selfish thing." Clarke begged.
"You have shown enough selfishness for a lifetime, Clarke!" Lexa spat.
Clarke nodded in agreement. Though she inwardly flinched at the hatred that was palpable when Lexa said her name.
"I have but what I am about to say is the most selfish thing I have ever said. I love you Lexa, I don't want to lose you."
With that she released Lexa who waited no time before turning Clarke over and topping her.
"Too late. I told you, you killed me along with my people."
Lexa was gone.