Waking Other Lives

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Chapter 20: New Resonsibilities

Seth’s POV

“Shit,” I repeated, shaking my head in disbelief. Had it all happened, had I just become the new rebel leader, or had I imagined it all? I really hoped it was the latter, and this was all some side effect of the sedative they injected into me.

“What just happened?” Travis, asked, his face showing uncertainty mingled with a fair dose of hope.

“Seth has just became your new leader, little bro,” Sierra said. “Now, all will be fine,” she said, hugging him.

“I’m not really your brother, you know that, right?” Travis said, uncertainly in between the hug.

“Oh, you are bro,” Sierra smiled. “Never mind,” she said when she saw Travis’s facial expression. A frown barely held itself back in his eyes, he was just realizing that Sierra may not be normal after all.

A few seconds later, he shrugged his shoulders. “Cool, I’m your brother,” he said, grinning as if he’d just considered the perks of being related to her.

“Wow, your face looks great. How did you heal that fast?” Travis said, noticing Sierra’s face for the first time.

This question, unfortunately, drew the attention of others, their eyes now looking into her face, roaming over her unblemished, and unbruised skin.

“Well, I’m a fast healer,” she winked. “It’s my genes from our father side,” she said, craftily weaving the details of the story in a false web.

Whew, thankfully her instincts were right on the spot. She was my little kitten, so vulnerable on the inside, yet so ferocious on the outside, especially towards those whom she felt she needed to protect.

“By the way, I have a question for you. How did you do that?” she whispered to me.

“What?” I asked.

“How did you kill him like that? I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.

And, by saying that she had hit the crux of the matter. Yes, I was both a Drakon and the master Uruloki which made me extremely strong even in my human form. But, it was not my human strength which had killed that guy in one swift move, it was my dragon strength, and yet, at the time, I had not shifted. This was a question which occupied my thoughts. This had never happened to me before, I was wondering whether whatever they injected in my blood had woken up my dragon, and triggered its powers. And, no doubt, its instincts as well. Damn, it had unleashed a ferocious desire, a yearning so strong to make Sierra mine, that I was on edge. She had no clue on the extent of iron control I had willed upon myself when licking and healing her cuts and bruises. A Drakon could only be tested so much, and I wasn’t sure I could endure more of this torture.

I had to find out about the sedative. If what I suspected was true, and it had activated my dragon in my human form, then the possibilities for what it could do was endless. It could slow down, heck maybe, cure the Drakon madness. The madness was prompted because the Drakon could no longer feel his dragon, it was as if the dragon was put into a never ending sleep from which it could not awake. I had no clue as to how long my prompted dragon state would last, but every day did count. Heck, every damn hour was precious, if only it could furnish the Drakons with the means to fight the virus.

“Seth?” Sierra said, I felt her touch my hand, the contact was the last blow, my control just snapped. Every sane thought left my body as I pushed her towards the wall, the gasping audience be damned. I simply didn’t care, as I devoured her lips. My hands wrapped around her body, and I scooped her up in my arms to maximize our bodily contact while I continued kissing her as if my life depended on it. It certainly felt that way at the time.

“Seth,” she objected, halfheartedly. “We are not alone,” she whispered in my ear. I gazed at her beautiful face, her face had flushed partly by passion, but partly by embarrassment. Damn, I was about to take her like a palace whore, and in front of everyone. I took a deep breath, and let her legs slip from my body. While I had managed to put some bodily distance in between us, I was still reluctant to sever our connection completely, and I found my fingers unconsciously intertwining with hers as if they had a mind and voice of their own.

I turned around, it was time to put things into order here. I caught the first guy who was standing near us.

“What is your name?”

“Fileas,” he said, casually. Unlike others, he looked me in the eye, he was not scared, and I liked that.

“Bring me a sample of the sedative you injected me with, I wanna have a look at it.”

“As you wish,” he said.

“And, gather everyone in this room. I’ll talk about the changes we’ll make in here,” I said.

Even if I had no intention of staying for long. And, even if I had no intention of keeping them alive for long. Even if, I was only doing this for Sierra.

In about ten minutes, everybody had gathered in the large space, waiting for my announcement.

“As you all know, or may have heard, I am your new leader. My name is Seth, and I can promise you I will be the last face you see in Rawonia should you cross me. Now, I know you have lived with some rules in this place, all of which are about to change, I can promise you that. Attacking another in this facility is no longer an acceptable behavior, any such action will be severely punished. I will hold a grievance committee twice a week and if you have problems about one another, that’s where you will speak up. Should you ignore my rules, well...let’s say I do not recommend it,” I said, my voice was icy despite my relaxed pose. The silence in the room was an indication of complete acceptance.

“Any questions?” I asked.

The silence continued. My one move kill had freaked everybody out, that was apparent. Fear was good, it meant fewer problems for me while I figured out what to do with my new status.

“That will be all. Now, you can all disperse,” I said. I loathed seeing so many humans in one gathering, it set me in a fighting mood. Old habits died hard.

“Will you be taking Ozy’s headquarters for the night?” Fileas asked as he leaned over the table. His stretched hand held a vial of the sedative they’d injected in me.

“What is in it exactly?” I asked, ignoring his question. There were more important things to discuss.

“I wouldn’t know, I’m not a chemist,” he laughed. “It’s just a sedative,” he said shrugging his shoulders.

Fine, our scientists would analyze it. I could work with that.

“Were you one of Ozy’s men?”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning were you in the ruling committee?” I asked.

He chuckled. “The ruling committee had only one seat. But, if you are asking whether I was one of his trusted confidantes, the answer would be no,” he said.

“Good,” I said, raising one eyebrow questioningly.

He fixed his green eyes on me and threaded his fingers in his blonde wavy hair. Then he nodded. We both knew what it meant. He’d just become my confidante.

“Who were the highly ranked Andra in here?

“Big Willie but I guess he will no longer be a problem,” he said smiling. “And, then there’s Ozy’s cousin, his best friend Dimitri, and his trusted soldiers, Breyan and Luke.

“Shit, I’d forgotten about the cousin,” I said in frustration. “I should have killed him.”

“You should have,” Fileas confirmed.

Sierra’s tension floated through her fingers, she was not enjoying the direction of the conversation.

“Well, we’ll talk later,” I said, reflexively touching him on the shoulder. Just like I did to Cayman whenever I wanted to show my approval. What was I doing touching a human? I flinched in disgust.

Fileas nodded. “Will you be taking Ozy’s room?” he asked, again.

“No, we’ll be sleeping with the rest of you,” I said. I always slept with my Drakons, I never set myself apart from my men. In my code of conduct, enjoying luxuries your men didn’t share was pure hypocrisy. My men? What the hell was I saying? Holy crap, humans weren’t my men, I reminded myself again. I was in an enemy camp, and even more so now that I’d killed their leader.

But again, I had to monitor their actions, and I couldn’t do it secluded in a private room. So, sleeping with the rest was still a wise military decision. That made me feel much better.

Fileas nodded as a spark of amused respect flashed in his eyes. “I’ll set up mattresses for you in the general room with the rest of us,” he said. “Anything else?” he asked.

“Yes, how do we get food supplies?”

“We don’t. We eat rats.”

“Establish hunting teams of four to hunt meat outside,” I said. I wouldn’t have Sierra starve here.

“What about the Drakons?” he asked, surprised.

“Don’t worry about them,” I said. “And, tell the men that if they are scared to hunt outside, they can find themselves another rebel unit. I don’t have a place for cowards.” I guess I had something in common with their old leader, after all. “And, we are starting today. I’ll join the first hunting team.”

He opened, but then closed his mouth. In the end, he nodded. I liked that about him, he was not much on words.

Fileas came with two other Andra, one a female, and one a male. He introduced them as Elvan and Brian. “I’ll be the third hunter,” he said.

“No, I want you taking care of things when I’m gone. I’ll make do with them,” I said. It was important always to leave someone you trusted behind, someone you could trust with the protection of someone as precious as Sierra. It was also important to show them that I was not afraid to undertake the tasks I expected my men to do, no matter how menial they may be. Hence, hunting with them would be the first of many displays to come. And, once I established their trust, I would move on to other units until I could destroy the whole rebellion from inside.

“Ok, let’s get going,” I said. Before I left, I turned to Fileas and said, “Start establishing a loyal team.” The rest of the words were for his ears only. “I leave Sierra under your protection,” I whispered, leaning in closer to him. He nodded. The time to leave Sierra had come unfortunately, I felt the bodily pain of finally unclasping our fingers.

“I’ll be back,” I promised. “With edible meat,” I smiled. She smiled back.

We took three guns from the weapons room, I didn’t need one to hunt, but I had to behave as I did. We opened the hatch, the sun was setting as streaks of red, yellow and orange light spanned the sky. It was good to be outside again.

“I’ll take the lead,” I said. The ground smelled wet, the earth having soaked up the rain torrent of the previous night. There were mud puddles everywhere, filling in the cavities on the ground.

“What are we hunting?” asked Elvan, who was a fit blonde girl, with her eyes watching any subtle movement like a hawk.

“Anything and everything we can find,” I said.

We walked nonstop for about half an hour, and then I stopped. I smelled fresh meat. I crouched low, closed my eyes to get a better guidance on the scent. “It’s to the west, two bears.”

“Holy shit,” Elvan cursed.

“We can’t take two,” Brian concurred.

“We can and we will,” I said.

I walked with steady steps towards our prey. The bears roared aggressively to scare us off when they spotted the threat. They knew what I was, the dragon was the king of all animals.

The bears both attacked me simultaneously, just as I expected. Their only chance of surviving was to take me down.

Elvan cursed, and then started shooting at the black bear. “C’mon shoot,” she urged Brian who was stupefied. The wounded bear who was in agony had now turned around and was charging towards them. Elvan kept shooting and running to draw the bear away. I was left to face the white bear. Alone. Just as I’d wanted it.

The white bear stood on his two hind legs and growled long and loud.

I felt the dragon in me, my whole body felt vibrant, empowered. I easily blocked its paws when it charged. It then leaned in towards me with the sole goal of crushing me. My reflexes were precise as I sidestepped. It fell back on four paws and charged again. This time I didn’t dodge, it was time to finish this. I jumped in the air, almost as if I had my dragon wings, and somersaulted over it, striking a passing blow on its back, my nails digging deep in its skin. The bear roared in pain, as blood splashed from its wound. I turned around, leaping at it, my fist aiming for the one vulnerable spot on its forehead, its third eye curving right above the other two in an arc. The move, administered with the right force, would paralyze the bear. Humans, unlike Drakons, were not born hunters, and they remained ignorant of the intricacies of killing wild animals, which is why they failed so miserably in their fight with us. As expected, the bear fell back with the ferocity of the punch, lying immobile on the ground. I made my lethal move, as my hands circled its neck, and squeezed. Within a few seconds, the bear had taken its last breath.

“I am sorry my friend, but I need your meat,” I explained. I left the body on the ground, standing up. When I was about to go to the others’ help, Elvan appeared with Bryan tagging right behind her.

“Crap, crap,” she cursed, her voice tinged with fear, and excitement. “That was damn scary. But, also so damn exciting. Did you see how we killed it? That huge bear?” she said. “No one will believe it.”

“No, I didn’t see it,” I said. Whoever was training the Andra was doing a horrible job if killing a bear was a challenge for them. But, I couldn’t help but laugh at her childlike gestures.

“Let’s skin the bears, ” I commanded. We walked back, carrying the long thin strips of meat we tied to the wooden racks we constructed from branches. It was Fileas who opened the hatch for us on our way back.

“I want her in the team,” I said pointing at Elvan. She had good instincts and was not scared in confronting her fears, I respected that.

There was an air of celebration when the Andra spotted the meat. But, my eyes were only for Sierra as she walked towards me.

“Thank you,” she said, pointing at the meat.

I wanted her so damn badly. I took a step closer to her, she simply didn’t move. The air felt thicker with the expectation of what was to come. Within a few seconds, I had her in my arms, I was kissing her, my hands roaming all over her body. I was completely lost in her kisses.

“Boss,” I heard Fileas say as he interrupted my bliss. I wanted to kill him. Perhaps, he was not exactly the right person to be my confidante.

“Boss,” he said again.

“What?” I said, my voice thickened with passion.

“We may be under attack.”

“What?” I snapped, trying to clear the fog of desire. “Who is attacking us?” I asked with the incredulity of it all.

“Drakons, who else,” he said as if I was insane. Perhaps I was, as I was having a hard time comprehending his words.

“What in the blazes are you talking about?” I raged.

“The Drakons are attacking us,” he repeated.

“Damn,” I said. Because if the Drakons were attacking us, they weren’t under my command, they were under my brother’s.

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