Imperium: Volume 3

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Chapter 23.

June's P.O.V.

Our last talk on the terrace didn't go so well as we were interrupted by Shay. Raeve wanted to know everything that happened from the time I left up until now, however that talk would take alot more than 10 minutes. What he really wanted to know was why I left without saying a word. I had to ask myself though. Would he have let me leave or would he have followed?

My leaving was necessary. I knew I hurt them. Him more than anyone, but without the help of Wolfgang and Shay, the death of Elias may have never happened.

It was the next morning, and I found myself in the kitchen making a cup of coffee before I took to our strategy room. There we had all the intel that we had accumulated over the last 7 months. Pictures of officials that made it onto our targets list; places that needed to be destroyed; people we could depend on. At the top of our list was a top official by the name of Ryerson. He was the sick fuck that took Anja's daughter and who knew what he had done to her. It took a long time to take her off my hit list. Once Shay informed me of his target while with the mercinaries, my plan to kill her was overthrown by the words of my father. Would I have done the same to save his life? To save Raeve's or Bowdie's? A child so innocent and born into the conflict just as I was, was sentenced to death. Something I couldn't let happen.

I was heading towards there. It was roughly 5 in the morning and surprisingly the others were still asleep even with the time change. I passed our training room and just before I cleared the corner I heard someone. I walked slowly to it, and I could hear heavy panting . I peered in and saw Oaken. There was enough light entering the room from the hallway to make her out, but all in all she was training in the dark.

"Oaken?" I said softly.

She looked up to me and pushed herself off the ground to a sitting position. She was still panting and worked up a sweat.

"What are you doing? Can't sleep?" I asked.

She just nodded, but the look in those pitch black eyes told me enough. I sat infront of her and looked at her.

"Back at the train yard.............Shay told me what happened. You want to talk about it?"

She just looked at me, and brought her knees up to her chest and hugged them tightly. "How.......how do you cope with....killing people?" She asked.

I heard the long exhale leave my mouth before I dived into the touchy subject. Oaken. This world is not meant for the weak. If you want to survive this you need to do everything that's necessary to stay alive. Unfortunatley killing to defend yourself will come second nature to you, and soon the memories of their faces won't haunt you anymore. I understand that it will weigh heavy in your mind, but over time your instincts to survive will always kick in. I understand completley if you were afraid-

"That's not it." She interrupted.

I looked at her confused. "I'm sorry, I don't understand."

"June. It's not the fear that haunts me. It's the fact that I enjoyed killing them." She fell silent. "Does that make me.....crazy?"

I could see the empathy in her eyes. No, it doesn't make you crazy. It makes you strong. I took her hands in mine. "I have to admit Oaken, you surprised me out of everyone here. From the sounds of it you had a good teacher." I said smiling. She grinned but I could still the worry in her eyes.

"Here, stand up." I said as I pulled her up.

"What are we doing?" She asked.

"We are going to train.......are you ready to step it up a notch?" I asked grinning.

"How so?" She replied.

"Well, those eyes of yours allow you to see in any obstacle....but have you fought blindly before?" I pulled a bandana out of my back pocket and held it to her.

"Your joking." She said.

"You can't always depend on your sight Oaken. The way they do things here are much different then back at home. You need to understand that, so here.....put it on." I threw it to her and she rolled her eyes before she tieing it on.

"Assume position." I told her and she took a deep breath before assuming her defensive postion. I walked around her and watched her head turn with me, making sure to keep an ear towards my direction at all times.

"Remember Oaken, instincts are second nature." I pushed her from behind and she almost fell foward but caught her self. She looked back to me, but I had already made my way around her and kicked her feet from under her.

She rolled on her side and quickly got her self up. "Listen to my footsteps Oaken. Stop trying to see and start listening. Listen for the hitch in my breath. The sound my clothing makes when I move. Isolate the silence and try and predict my next move."

I stood in front of her and watched as she had her hands up. I quickly spun my body around while I crouched down to the floor and kicked out my leg to sweep her from under hers. She managed to catch on but at the last minute and crashed down to her side. She grunted and punched the ground before getting back up.

"Again!" She said.

I smiled and gave my self distance. This time I was going to take a running charge towards hers. I pushed off my back leg while she was slightly turned away and just before I dived in feet first to take her out again, she jumped up and flipped over me, landing with her feet on each side of me. I then went to wrap my arm around her neck but she quickly twisted her upper body and caught my arm. She then threw herself on her back and proceeded to put me in an arm bar. She didn't hold back either. I thought she was going to break my arm if I hadn't tapped out.

She got up and removed the blind fold. "You okay?" She asked as I held my arm. She didn't sound worried, but confident in what she had just done.

I grinned. She was no longer the whiny girl I once knew last year. She had grown exponentially since I was gone, and I knew in that moment she would be fine.

"Damn Oaken, you catch on quick." I said.

"Like you said. This is no place for the weak." She had her eyes furrowed, and she shared the look I once did. Or still do I guess.

Suddenly the lights turned on, and Shay was standing against the door way with a cup of coffee.

"Buenos dias." He said as he grinned.

"Good morning Shay." I said as I turned back to Bowdie. She was still panting and didn't seem uncomfortable being only in a sports bra. She was looking at Shay and quickly turned back to me with her natural brown eyes. She walked up to me and handed me back the bandana.

"Thank you for the lesson." She said before excusing herself.

She left and I watched as Shay followed his eyes down the hall behind her. He looked back up to me, and I couldn't help but roll my eyes. He looked at me confused and shrugged his shoulders.

"Que?" He asked. He walked towards me and saw my hand still clinging my shoulder. "What happened to you?"

"I got schooled." I told him chuckling.

"Hmm, I'm sorry that I missed it. She must have had an excellent teacher." He said.

"Ya. Me!" I told him. We both smiled and walked out. "How's the coffee?"

"Taste's like shit." He replied.

"Excellent."
.....................
Sarah's P.O.V.

I got out of the shower, and got dressed before I made my way to the strategy room. I caught a glimpse of it while Wolfgang was giving us the tour yesterday. As much as I wanted to have a longing reunion and check out the place, I couldn't help but sense something was a foot. I made my way in and saw June already staring at the wall with a cup of coffee in hand and Shay was also present. I couldn't help but feel totally inadequate next to him. We shared the same ability, yet he was able to do far more with his and seemed to come easy to him. It didn't help that he was younger also. He had to be atleast 22 or 23 by the look of it.

He sensed me, and turned to me.

"Good morning." He said. June turned to me and smiled.

"Morning." I said back. My gaze immediately took to the wall that was covered in pictures, maps, locations and faces of top officials. The one that stood out to me was one of Elias. There was a big X drawn onto his picture, to specify that he was taken care of.

In the corner of the room they had a massive t.v. mounted to the wall that was playing their local channel. You would expect it to be in German which was the old dialect here, but since The Dominion reigned over the globe English was the one and only language they forced everyone to use. You barely heard anyone speak otherwise, and if you were young enough everything but, would sound foreign.

"So this is what you've been up to this whole time." I stated.

I approached the wall of photos and recognised a few faces from over the years. But the one on the top of her list I didn't recognise. Only the name. Ryerson. He looked young for being in command. Surely there were others with more superiority. June came up beside me, and I looked over to her.

"Penny for your thoughts?" She asked.

I'm just studying. I said. I kept looking between Ryerson and Elias. Something between the two photos had me fixated. They shared the same eyes. Both a dark blue. Aside from the different hair colour they also shared some other features. The nose was the same aswell, and their lips were quite similar. I closed my eyes to grab the image of the soldier that hired the mercenaries. I didn't have his face before but I took back to the memory of his uniform. He was standing behind a desk with his hands perched up top. That's when I vaguely saw it. A ring. I looked back to the photos of Elias until I saw one with him. It was a full body profile, and that's when I recognised the same ring on his hand.

"How long ago was it that you killed Elias?" I asked.

June looked at Shay. "Maybe 2.5 months ago? Give or take." She answered.

"So that's how you got to the top." I said outloud.

"Do fill us in." June asked.

I looked at them before taking down the photo's and placing them side by side. I pointed to Elias first.

"Father." Then pointed to Ryerson. "Son."

Shay came around the table and took a look.

"It can't be. I should have sensed that when I was hired by him." He said.

I was already second guessing myself. But looking at it, I was confident in my findings.

"Unless, he didn't know." I said.

They both looked stunned. I couldn't help shake the feeling that I was still off by something. They were definitely related. They looked similar, shared the same features and had the ring. It was a family ring. I sighed.

So that rules out my theory of him not knowing. Unless he found out after Elias was killed. Suddenly my attention was brought towards the t.v. It was a special news bulletin. They were announcing the ongoing stand off that happened in Jaxynville. It was showing live footage of freedom fighters fighting against the Dom's at the border.

"Did you have any clue about this?" June asked.

"No." I said. Nothing was ever mentioned to Raeve about it. They only asked that we take care of the mercinaries. Then the broadcast turned to another story involving Ryerson. It was showing him making his way into the new capitol building. I studied his manurisms, so I could gather as much intel as possible.

"You guys wouldn't have any footage on these guys would you?" I asked while still glancing at the t.v.

"Yes, we have a few people out there getting as much info as possible. What we don't have is someone on the inside. It's next to impossible to confirm whether he will show up or not." He said.

I looked at him. "Wouldn't you be able to determine that....with your ability?"

"I can sense him, and sometimes get a read on him but other than that it was mostly silent. It only ever came in fragments." He said.

I sighed. "So you have that problem too hu?" I said discouraged.

"What's that?" He asked.

"There's some people in this world, I can't get a read on. It's becuase their brains are hardwired differently. They lack emotion, empathy, but can be highly calculated and narcasstic. You would have already met another since our arrival."

He gazed down and thought about it. "The red head."

"Yes. That's how I found her. It took weeks to find our mole, but once I was able to identify it, that's how we caught her."

"How did you figure that out?" He asked.

"I.....unfortunatley had a run in with one beforehand." I said. I looked to June who looked concerned that Shay was questioning about it, but I had to show her that it was the past and that it made me stronger.

"So, are you saying this guy is hardwired differently? Same with Anja is it?" He asked.

"I don't know. You said you got fragments from him before, but nothing solid. Which is different from Anja. In her case she's psychotic. But I don't think that's the case for Ryerson. They have to be related in a way. Son? Nephew perhaps? Either way we know he isn't afraid to hide in the shadows when it comes to employing Imperiums. Seems even more sadistic in the sense he is willing to bend the rules to get his final outcome. To wipe us all out."

I looked to the wall again. There were pictures of a military base located here in U.T.D.J. A few in fact. These almost looked like satellite images. "Where did you get these?"

"Wolfgang." June answered. "Any chance he got while working there, he snuck out intel. He found these in one of their database's." She clarified.

I paced around the room, thinking of what we could do to get the information that I required.

"June, how would you feel about making a trip to Lingham?" I asked. "I know you left to keep us out of it, but we are in this now. More than ever."

"Why, what are you thinking?" She asked.

I looked up to her. "Do you trust me?" I asked.

"Yes of course." She replied.

"Good, power up. We're going now." I walked up to her and she shared a look with Shay. He looked confused as well but I knew we were going to need help. And Lingham had exactly what I needed for the job. She looked at me and set her eyes a glow and took my hands.

"Ready?" She asked.

I nodded. "Let's go."




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