End Game

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Chapter twelve part1

Chapter twelve

“Always.”

I guess that would have been some incentive of how I could get through my nightmares. I’ve learnt how to deal with them a lot better but any advice helped especially if it came from him.

I nodded. “Thank you-”

An announcement rang through interrupting me, telling us we’d arrive. I guess that we were too caught up with each other that we didn’t realise we’d reached our destination. I looked out to be greeted with a posse of other people piled at the docking station, waiting for their own ferries and their way to leave France for one reason or the next.

In an instant the cabin door slid open and closed shut in a span of seconds. Adrian came in frantic, his head lined with moisture. He was sweating. What for? His breathing hectic, his action woke Elijah and Zee and also alerted me and Isaiah. “We need to leave now.” Rushing he started collecting his stuff, he glanced at us and saw we weren’t doing the same waiting for some sort of explanation. “Police are going down through every cabin, looking for some people. Holding up every single one of our pictures. I evaded them but they’ll soon catch up to us-”

Elijah looked at Zee, Zee looked at Isaiah and he looked at Elijah, like they were sharing something that the rest of us couldn’t know.

“How could they possibly get our pictures? No one, absolutely no one should know about us or even have our information.” Zee was the first person to break the silence. We all sat there confused and unmoving, Adrian stared at us like we’d all lost our minds.

Isaiah sprung up. “That doesn’t matter right now. We need to go.” As if that statement was all any of us needed, hastily we started collecting our belongings, putting our caps on concealing our faces. Part of me couldn’t help but wonder if that would gain more attention our way, five teenagers all wearing caps screamed suspicious.

Isaiah read my mind completely. He took of his own and prompted Adrian and Elijah to take off theirs as well . “Let the girls be the only ones. If we get caught, they’ll at least have a chance escape. And we don’t want any unwanted attention.”

Both of them obliged, quickly taking them off and stuffing them in their backpacks.

“Is there a way we can make it to the car?” Zee questioned directing it to Isaiah.

He unlocked the door, sticking out his head and looked left, again he came back, shaking his head facing the rest of us. “No, I don’t think so. The only way we can get our car back is through the front exit. That means we’d have to go through them and we’re outnumbered. Vastly. ”

“We can fight through.” Elijah offered but I knew that wouldn’t work, these were police they had rules and conducts to abide by. If one of them got hurt or even killed the whole country would be on a manhunt for us. We definitely wouldn’t make it a mile.

Zee shook her head. “No, we can’t. If one of them get severely injured, they’d be a whole mob after us. Remember, we have guns and weapons, I could bet anything that they don’t have those calibre of arsenal on them. And who’s to say they don’t even have our car surrounded already, expecting us to come back for it. No, we have to be smart about this.”

That gun, strapped to me was becoming increasingly heavy. If it had to come to it, if I had to shoot someone could I really do it? Like really kill someone point blank range. Did I have to become a cold-blooded murderer like they’ve been trained for all their lives?

“Guys, they’re getting closer.” Adrian, his voice more frantic than before as he retreated back into the tight packed cabin, clutching his belongings even tighter, as if he thought if they reached him they’d kill him.

“But how do we even know that they’re real police, what if they’re the ones that keep coming after us and impersonating police officers. If they’re not, how did they know where to even find us?” This time the voice belonged to Elijah, slowly I was finding myself tuning out, all voices merged into one. I knew what the outcome would be either way. Police or not. If they were working with the French military or police that means they had strong ties outside of England and that meant they’d go any extra length to find me and the fact that everywhere we went, they followed, only reassured me that they we always close, always following our footsteps, always lurking in the shadows. And one day they’d get me.

“Think. Isaiah. Think.” He punched the wall nearest him, which I knew did more harm to him that it did to that stationary wall. Clearly, this situation was frustrating to say the least, with the progressively reducing amount of time we had. Someone had to think of something quickly and fast.

“Another exit.” My voice felt weak and strained but I pushed on. “Is there another exit we can follow, a back way.”

Two pounds on a door emerged. It was close to us but not exactly near us. They were gaining us. To the point we could hear voices, slightly muffled but clear.

“Have you seen these five young people. ” Another pause. “They’re wanted for police concerns, nothing we can disclose to you unfortunately.” Once again another hefty, long pause. “Okay well if you do, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you madam, have a nice day.” He was English. Fluent even without a hint of a French accent.

Whilst all of us froze as the knocks inched nearer. One door away.

My eyes found Zee’s. “Zee. Back exit? Is there any?” My sentence had to be cut short as time was something precious to us right now that couldn’t be wasted.

It took her a moment to collect herself and snap out of whatever state she was in. “Yes. There is. But it’s towards the rear of the ship’s, they only use it for emergencies and it’s in a body of water. So if we have to go through that way-”

Isaiah interrupted her. “We have to swim out.”

She nodded.

“Well what are we waiting for, let’s go-”

One knock. One knock pounded on our door. Instantly we were all glued to the spot, looking at each other wondering who’d be brave enough to open the door. It was obvious that they wouldn’t leave because as we took another moment, another knock pounded the door.

Isaiah started making his way towards the door, taking the choice that none of us could decide on. No. Not him. I stopped him, holding my hand out to stop him moving closer.

Smiling down at me, reading my facial expression which I could tell was loud and clear, gently he pried my hand away. Whispering what he thought was a comfort but couldn’t be far from the truth for me. “It’s going to be fine. Trust me.” I did. I really did but I couldn’t trust him with not endangering him own life.

If they wanted me, they should take me. No one else had to get hurt due to my account.

Swiftly, I meandered my way through him and before he could touch the door, I knocked his hand out of the way. Sliding the doors myself.

Finding myself face to face with a pale policeman with a pointy nose and dark eyes. He didn’t look at me, at least not yet. “Good morning, have you seen any of these young people?” Holding up all our pictures, Adrian was right. Mine I recognised as my passport picture, but I couldn’t speak for the others. And how did they get their hands on them in the first place? The officer looked up directly in my eyes, instantly recognising me his mouth slightly agape. His eyes fluttered towards to rest of us behind me.

“Listen. ” I started, finding any ounce of courage I had left to give myself up. “Take me. It’s me you want, leave them-”

Before his lips could make contact to the radio on his chest, a fist flew past me connecting with the officers nose. Wailing, his head hung back, blood freely flowing from his nose.

Taking this as a good opportunity, the same hand grabbed my wrist pulling me along as we all started running right. I looked up making eye contact with Isaiah. He didn’t look mad, just slightly irritated. But I did what I had to do. “Come on.”

We all picked up the pace as we heard shouts of protest from behind us and footsteps coming hot after us, in pursuit of us.

“How far ahead Zee?” Isaiah threw his question, his voice louder so she could hear. At this point I couldn’t hear anything past footsteps and my breathing.

Ahead of us, people started piling out of their cabins, a cascade of human making their way down the hallway towards us. Shit. We couldn’t keep this up for long, with how narrow the hallways were it wouldn’t accommodate all of us. It would inevitably slow us down and it would be certain we’d get caught.

We collided with tens of people, trying our possible best to shove them out of the way but there was just too many and those footsteps were readily advancing towards us.

Knowing that there was no other alternate. It was now or never. I came to a stop, involuntarily forcing Isaiah to stop too as our hands were now locked together.

Pulling out my gun, I fired two shots. One in the air. Another in the same spot. It came as a big surprise as how my aim was that good, I was able to pull that off. Pure luck maybe. Let’s hope pure luck would help me survive this.

Audible screams as people started frantically scattering about to avoid the crazy girl with the gun. “Everyone! Get back into your cabins now!” My voice was quiet and I knew not everyone would have the ability to hear me.

Thankfully Isaiah knew what we plan was and he quickly backed me. “Now! Or she shoots!” Working with his last words, I started pointing my gun to the hoard in front of me, instinctively they all flinched back, retreating back into their cabins making sure it was securely locked.

But a man remained, crouched onto the floor, holding his child towards his chest. He closed his eyes as if praying that we couldn’t see him or we’d somehow pass him. He stilled as he didn’t feel our presence pass him, forcing his daughter I presume into his chest he pleaded with us. “Je suis désolé. Nous sommes des passengers clandestins, nous n’avons pas de cabine. Nous avons été forcés de rentrer chez nous. S’il vous plaît ne tuez pas ma fille, pas me fille. Je t’en supplie. ”

French, he was speaking French. And I didn’t comprehend a word. I looked over at Isaiah. “Do you know what he just said?”

He frowned. “They’re stowaways, they don’t have a cabin. He doesn’t want us to shot his daughter.” It didn’t surprise me that he knew French, I was much more surprised that he slowly took the gun from me as now I came to realisation that I had it pointed. Directly at them.

What was I even doing?

Quickly I shook my head, startled by my own actions. When had I even done that? “I’m sorry.” Directing it to him and his daughter, wildly he nodded his head knowing full well he didn’t understand a word I said but would do anything to please the ones currently holding guns. He must have realised what was going on seeing all those people run back into their cabins, seeing me with a gun, clearly terrified and I pointed a gun at him. At innocent people. Who was really the bad people here?

Again, with the path clear this time, wasting no time we took off again running to the rear of the ship ignoring the intensified rocking and swaying.

We were heading towards an opening. Directly ahead of us was a railing and further from that was the body of sea.

“Up ahead!” Zee shouted before I could turn to her, she leaped over the railing. She didn’t look scared or unsure but determined to survive this. Then a crash in the water was heard, before her voice. “Come on!” Faint but still distinct enough to hear.

One by one they dived into the water without a second thought; Elijah followed by Adrian. I could hear sounds below, they were waiting for us.

But here we both were, police catching up to us and I was to say the least nervous. I could swim well enough but was I ready to be thrown into the deep end?

“Now or never Alexis.” I looked up, Isaiah penetrative stare made me even more embarrassed of this situation. “I know you can swim so what’s stopping you?”

I shook my head, leaning over the railing taking in the sea below it; it’s menacing waves of cerulean blue water didn’t do too well to reassure me. Neither did the three heads I saw desperately ushering us over. “Go on without me-”

“Alexis you of all people know we can’t do that.” His fingers pushed my chin up into I was involuntarily looking into his eyes. “Pull yourself together, you’ve got this. And I’ve got you. Okay?”

Reluctantly I nodded. I know what I needed to do and I had to be brave enough to do it.

“Together?” He offered, lacing a hand through mine.

“Together.”

Both of us started backing away, trying to put as much distance from the railing and the sea to give us more momentum. We ran up to the railing and simply jumped.

Everything draught out, the time. I could see, feel, hear everything.

Then I could see, fell, hear nothing but the length of water that surrounded me. The force tugged me in deeper and I couldn’t feel Isaiah’s warm hands anymore.

All the things I learnt about swimming vanished and I found myself tumbling deeper.

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