Waking Other Lives

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Chapter 36: The Truth

Seth's POV

So, that was Hayley, the commander of all rebels. Nobody seemed to have heeded Sierra calling her Abby, considering her words just to be under the influence of a raging fever. I didn’t care what her name was, neither did I care about finding the location of rebel units anymore. What I cared for the time being prompted two actions, cure Sierra and find Dante. However, before I could lay my hands on her, Baran lifted her in his arms again. I had to watch as he rushed her inside following Hayley and the wounded Andra, whose curses amounted to Sierra being a menace to all humankind. It was almost comical, but I was far from enjoying the situation, my mood was sour, and getting sourer by the minute. My mate was in the arms of somebody else, and I could feel her hurting, her energy, her light, which I’d perceived to be robust and powerful in the past, was now flickering.

The medical facility was a large room on the upper floor, equipped with all medical instruments known to humans. Though humans had made advances in medical development, they lagged far behind Drakon means and wisdom of healing. Since Drakons and humans had not meshed well in life even before the war, there had been no transmission of knowledge between the two species, which is why I had little trust in their healing methods.

The facility was organized into many sections devoted to a checkup, conducting medical operations, resting and healing as well as medicine storage. There was a staff of several doctors and many more nurses, fully dressed in white uniforms, rushing from one section of the facility to another, pushing trolleys with medical instruments, monitoring X-ray machines, arranging oxygen supplies, checking pulses, distributing drugs to the wounded and the sick. Life in this facility seemed as smooth, and undisturbed as possible, despite the war.

“Here, put her in this bed, quick. Let me see her; hmmm....it’s bad. What happened to her?” one of the doctors said, as he waved his hand at two nurses who immediately rushed to his side. “She’s burning up with a high fever, and her wound is infected. What we’ll do is, we’ll clean her arm up, wrap it loosely in bandages to keep it that way and load her body with ample antibiotics to end the infection. I’m afraid an aesthetic operation to replace the burned skin is beyond us at this point. Who’s responsible for her?” he inquired.

“Me. She’s my girlfriend. She was burned by a Drakon,” Baran replied.

Elvan touched and squeezed my elbow in support; she was confused as to what was happening. I was red with anger; my hands were shaking, my eyes were burning, I blinked several times to keep the fire away, which was boiling right beneath the surface.

“I’m assuming keeping this young lady alive is what you desire more than her beauty?” the doctor asked, his tone cold, indifferent.

“Yes, of course, she’s everything to me,” Baran assured the doctor.

I couldn’t take down the whole unit in a fight, though I wish I could. The number of Andra in this unit had to be hundreds. Not only was the building enormous and several stories high, but it was the center of human rebellion. So, logic dictated that many lived here under this roof, more than any other rebel unit, each of which recruited at least two to three hundred humans within its ranks. The rage in me knew no limits. I wanted to throttle the doctor who talked about her in such emotionless terms, as though she was a piece of furniture, as though she was replaceable. And, as for Baran, I wanted to do much worse to him, I was beginning to question the merit of making him part of her escape plan. There was nothing to do, but wait for the night, only then could I move on with my project.

“Well, that settles it then. She will be taken care of, Baran,” Hayley said. “And, who are you exactly?” Hayley asked me.

I had completely forgotten about her existence. “I’m Seth, from rebel unit two. I’ve replaced Ozy,” I said, nonchalantly. It was hard to make small talk, when I was worried this much, and hurting this badly.

“I see, I’m Hayley, the commander of the war against Drakons, so to say. I reckon you, and I have a lot to talk about,” she said.

“I’ll be staying here, to watch over her,” Baran said.

“We’ll get going then; I sure want to get to know Seth a little better. After all, I’m dying to hear all about what happened to Ozy. I guess it was a coup?”

“Not at all. I played by his rules and overturned him. It was fair and just,” I said. The damn female was irritating me with all her questions. But, I could not draw suspicion, and I needed to learn my way around this unit, find out how we could get out once I healed Sierra, how many guards they had, and what facilities they had on each floor. I needed immediate surveillance and reconnaissance. Though I hated to be away from Sierra, I had to utilize this opportunity to find the weaknesses of this unit and gauge its strengths. I needed to concentrate, I needed to focus, I needed to get rid of this emotional agitation, which was turning me into a crazed Drakon.

Elvan started to walk along with us, but Hayley stopped her right where she was as though to signal to her that she only dealt with commanders, and everyone else was beneath her. As I followed Hayley to an upper floor, I noticed fleeting glances from the Andra around, but none intervened. We walked to a spacious meeting room which had yellow painted walls and long white board with some scribbling hanging on a side wall. There was also a comfortable sofa, a large modern desk accompanied by a chair right behind it, and a varnished rectangular wooden table in the middle of the room, surrounded by at least ten chairs. She closed the door, and sat on the sofa, sighing.

“No one will disturb us here so that we can talk comfortably. The door is sound proof,” she said.

“Okay,” I said, not understanding why we needed the quiet or the secrecy, but all my instincts went into a full alert.

“So, I’m not sure whether you heard that I’ve been planning to gather all the rebel units under one roof for some time now. Ozy was on board before you ousted him. I’ll be straight to the point. Are you in, how many men can you provide me with, and how soon will that be?”

This was so not the time for this; I just didn’t care shit about their human plans to fight against us, not after I had learned the biggest threat to our race came from inside us, the Drakons. But, I had to play along.

“Yes, I’m in. I have 200-300 Andra ready to fight. I’m quite new as a leader; I’m still in the stage of learning everything about the unit. I’ll be able to tell you more in time. When is the gathering?” I asked.

“Soon, within a few weeks. I’ll let you know. How long have you been in Ozy’s unit?” she asked.

“Not for long, as I said, it’s all been very recent. Before, we’d been under Drakon attack and Sierra, and I ended up finding our way to Ozy’s place.”

“It must be hard for you to watch them together,” she said, smiling as she got up, and walked towards her desk.

“What do you mean?” I asked, playing the stupid.

“Oh, come on, don’t play the dumb with me. I’ve seen how you look at her. But, I can easily tell you that Baran will not let her go. You’ve got a huge challenge on your hands.”

I kept my silence. Challenge my ass; she was mine.

She opened the desk drawer; her face stretched in concentration. “I have something to show you, Seth. I waited for a long time for this opportunity to emerge. And, now that you are here, I fear can’t wait any longer,” she said, and I finally saw what she was holding in her hand. A gun...

“I know who you are my dear; I’ve been looking all over for you for ages. No wonder, I couldn’t find you, you were hiding beneath my nose, in one of my rebel units. From time to time, I could feel your essence along with hers, but my dear sister does a great job hiding your presence from me. She’s such a pesterer; it’s so damn irritating how she’s always a step ahead of me. But, not this time,” she said, giggling like a little child. ” I tried communicating with Sierra, but you were always there to stop her. And, then I finally got my hands on your dear brother. I expected Dante to draw you here, but I guess I owe Sierra one. It was her who pulled you here like a starving dog. A starving mate would probably be the better phrase. How stupid of me to think I could rely on her! To think that I rejoiced when I finally reached her, what bullshit! I thought she would be the key to killing you. I’d been fooling myself, what happened right outside showed me I was asking for the impossible. Hurting you is beyond her.”

“You are the witch? It was never her,” I murmured, my mind fast forwarding as to how to disarm her, but she was too far away. But, I didn’t worry too much, I would wake up once she shot me, my body would automatically push the bullet out all within a few hours, my body would then mend, and then I would gladly kill her. I was shaken by all that I’d heard, Sierra, my beautiful mate, was not a witch, and Dante was right here. This was not a bad outcome, after all, perhaps I had to thank the witch, I thought as a wide grin stretched my lips.

" I don’t believe that you understand the circumstances,” Hayley snapped, as she looked at me one more time, a furious anger taking hold of her body. “This is the end for you, Seth. You see, I know how to kill a Drakon. I know all about the life source,” she said as she pulled the trigger, aiming right at my heart. I dodged, but she kept shooting until I was bleeding on the floor, barely breathing, though all my last coherent thoughts were on Sierra. Who would save her, or Dante? This was awful news if what she’d said was true. And why shouldn’t it be, after all, Rocco had been her accomplice, and his treason seemed to run deeper with each new information revealed? Fighting against your kind was bad enough, but giving out our secrets to humankind to help them eliminate the Drakons was beyond imagination.

So, the witch knew how to take me out, and there was nothing I could do at this point. In fact, it was too late for any precautions. How gullible I’d been, underestimating her. I closed my eyes, hissing, crawling on the floor just to fall back again. Breathing was difficult; my heartbeat was too slow, my fire was dying down, leaving in its place the remnants of an ember. I struggled to get up for a few more agonizing minutes, but I’d lost too much blood, and I finally gave up, collapsing on the floor, exhaling my last breath.

“Damn, how will we clean up this room, it’s such a mess,” Hayley said. She started stripping Seth of his clothes, and she smiled when she found the second tattoo on his ass. “It’s damn sexy, what a pity,” she said out loud, as she shot him once in his arm, and once on his ass where his two life sources stood in glory. “Now, I’m finally done with this nonsense,” she said.

There was a knock on the door. “C’mon in,” she said.

It was Baran. “Whoa, what happened here?” he asked, shocked.

“Didn’t you know he was a Drakon, a traitor Baran? I’m surprised you didn’t see that coming.”

“But, what, how?”

“Never mind, please ask someone to wipe all the blood from here, I’m afraid, the blood’s been smeared even on the walls,” she said with a disgusted expression.

“Uhm, Sierra won’t like it. She had a thing for him,” Baran said thoughtfully.

“Who cares Baran? You have her all to yourself now. You should be happy.”

“I am, I am, but...I still don’t understand,” he said.

“And, that’s precisely the problem. You don’t fucking remember a thing. None of my neutralizers do. Damn it; I can’t wait to get out of this comic universe,” she said. “Never mind, have his body put into the dungeon, in the cell where Dante is held,” she sighed when she saw his confused face expression.

“Who is Dante?” Baran asked.

“Seriously, this is too much, even for me, dealing with your stupid amnesia problems. Just find me someone who at least knows what’s going on in this unit. Fetch me Masoud, I can’t deal with you right now, hurry up!” she said in shrill impatience.

Two men carried the bloodied corpse of Seth into the cell, where a wild prisoner was held, chained to the wall. He was raging, rattling the chains, and shouting gibberish; his crazed eyes had a hollow, faraway look. They dropped Seth’s body a few steps away from him and kicked it before they turned away to leave.

“You filthy Drakons,” one of the guards said, laughing as he turned to look at them one more time. “Look at both of you now! One of you is dead, and the other one went full crazy. Just what you both deserve. The time of the humans is coming, too bad you won’t be able to see it.”

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