Warlands of Song

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Chapter Sixteen: Glen

Glen bolted straight up out of his sleep. He blinked once, twice, then looked down. He lay on top of a large white bed, in a white room, alone. He shook his head slowly, shutting his eyes, and lay down again. He was obviously dreaming. There was no point in humoring his subconscious.

But he couldn’t go back to sleep. His former physical and emotional exhaustion had disappeared, leaving him awake and anxious. He stood, looking for a door. If he was stuck in this dream, he needed things to move along quickly. Saige would wake soon, and they needed to get moving.

There were no doors. He paced along the entire perimeter and not once happened upon one. When he lifted his hands to feel for a seam, he noticed the black bands on his wrists. An inch thick and made of the purplish-black Drenj stone, they were made to subdue the more dangerous powers of children who were just beginning to train.

To his left, a section of wall slid open and ten soldiers marched in. They formed two columns on either side of his former S.O, Lieutenant Luther. The man didn’t stop walking until he was almost nose to nose with Glen.

Of course he was dreaming. There was no way his S.O would’ve been so close to him without trying to kill him. Not after what he’d done on earth.

The man squinted, looking into his eyes like he was searching for something. But what?

“What are you thinking right now, Mykel,” the man demanded.

“Just wondering when I’m going to wake up,” Glen mumbled. “I have things to do and I don’t have time for these games.”

“This isn’t a joke, son. And it’s not a dream. The Siren that undid the spell that girl put on you said you’d feel that way at first, coming out of it.” The man put a hand on Glen’s shoulder and kept it there. “Welcome back, soldier.”

Glen didn’t move a muscle. He didn’t blink, and he barely breathed. His former S.O dropped his hand and turned to the men behind him.

“Give us a minute alone.”

The soldiers filtered out of the room, and the wall slid shut behind them. Glen watched, tense, for any sign of hostility coming from the older man, but there was none. Instead there was a caution and gentleness that he didn’t know what to do with. The man gestured to his hands.

“Let me see them.”

He held them up, and his S.O removed them without problem, slipping them into his pocket. Glen flexed his fingers his power returned, flooding his veins. It was like he could breathe again after being underwater for hours at a time.

“I know how it feels to come up again after one of them messes with your head,” the man said. “You feel lost, confused, and probably angry. Hopefully not at me—”

“Robert is dead.”

The man didn’t miss a beat. “We didn’t have all the facts. We acted on what we knew. And what we ‘knew’ then is that you and he were aiding and abetting a dangerous creature and we didn’t know to what lengths you would go to protect her. He killed two of our own and the rest acted in self-defense—”

“Why didn’t you kill me?”

“What?”

“You killed him the second he made a move against you, but you let me live. Why was his life worth less than mine?”

“I wasn’t in the field that night. I wouldn’t know—”

“Bull.” He moved closer to his former S.O. Only now did anger course through his veins. “Robert was my partner. We fought together for centuries. You didn’t have to kill him. But you did. Why? What threat was he to you?”

“What threat? He knew too much.”

The answer hit him like a boulder in his chest. “He knew too much,” he repeated.

The man switched from sympathetic to businesslike in one fell swoop.

“You weren’t even supposed to know about her. She was to be taken care of quietly and quickly. But you found out. Somehow, you found out. You know of your status here. You know of your influence. And I know you, so I knew you wouldn’t be willingly helping someone as dangerous as that girl if you had a choice. She had to be manipulating you. But him? Your partner is unknown. He rose to fame only because you did, but no one knows the inner workings of his mind. No one trained him but you. He was an outsider until you found him. We didn’t have faith that he could keep the secret.”

“So you took it upon yourself to kill him. Instead of taking us both in and taking my word that he wouldn’t have told a single soul about anything we went through! And where did you get the stupid idea that I was being controlled?”

“She told us.”

Glen’s anger stuttered. What was he talking about? Saige hadn’t told them. They’d probably...

“She told you?”

“I was supposed to break all of this to you gently. Will you sit down? You’re going to give yourself a heart attack.”

“Start explaining.”

“I said sit down, boy. Don’t forget who you’re talking to. General or not, you owe me respect as the man who trained your hard-headed self.”

His jaw worked with the urge to snap and break something, but he sat on the bed he’d woken in anyway. His rage couldn’t dull his common sense. He didn’t have all the pieces, and until he did, he would stay where he was and listen.

“Five days ago we found the girl and she came with us willingly. She told us everything. How she’d killed the first man we sent to eliminate her, and then made you rescue her the second time against that unknown group on the mountain. She said that from there, she influenced both you and your partner with her Siren qualities to smuggle her off the planet. Her plans were to get you and Robert to help her take over the government and get revenge on the people who sent her to earth to begin with. But after Robert was killed she realized that you weren’t powerful enough to fulfill her plan. She was on her way to influence more men when we found her, and since our men were wearing plugs, she couldn’t fight her way out. So she surrendered and told us everything.”

Glen struggled to sift through the emotions raging through his mind. There were too many to keep track of. Relief, amusement, concern, anger, and pride all warred for dominance. But above all sat confusion.

“Where is she now,” he asked, careful to keep his voice and expression neutral. If he came off as happy or relieved, he might ruin the gift Saige had sacrificed herself to give him.

“You’re in our quarantine facility,” his S.O said. “We brought you here so one of the Sirens we’ve employed could reverse the control the girl wired your mind with.”

“But where is she?”

“I know you must be angry, and you must want to harm her, but I can tell you now that, that won’t happen. We’re keeping her under strict watch here in this facility.”

She was there in the same building. He took a deep breath as his body fought to express the pure relief he was feeling. Eyes shut, he shook his head. He needed to get to her, but to do that he would have to forget about her for the time being. He would play the part he was meant to play until he was released, so he could formulate a proper plan to get to her.

“She needs to die,” he said, eyes still shut.

“Mykel, you need to—”

He lunged to his feet, looming over the man. “Where is she,” he yelled.

His S.O didn’t move, but the wall behind him slid open and soldiers poured in. Glen panted, looking around for a way out. As though he truly meant to escape.

“I know you’re upset,” his S.O spoke again, “but your body will calm down soon. We’ll keep you here for a few more days until your mind realizes it’s been freed. It’s normal to feel this way after the control has been lifted. You’ll want to kill her for a while longer, but you’ll be back to normal again soon.”

He took a threatening step toward the men, and a dozen clicks filled his ears.

“Just relax and do some meditation, like I taught you. All will be alright soon enough.”

Something pricked his arm, and every muscle in his body stiffened. He couldn’t move, held in an invisible grip all over. While he stood frozen, all of the men filtered out of the room again, and the wall slid shut. His paralysis lasted another minute before he went limp and fell to his knees on the white flooring. Dragging himself to the bed was no easy task, as his limbs felt like jelly, but once he made it he just stared up at the ceiling.

Saige was smarter than he’d given her credit for. Even so, he had to wonder what had possessed her to turn herself in. She could’ve been killed. What was her plan? And deep in the recesses of his mind, the ultimate question lurked:

What if she truly had been controlling him the entire time? How would he know any different?

He didn’t know the answer to his questions, but it still remained that she’d given herself up and him acquittal from everything he’d done. He had the opportunity to go home and live as though he’d never left at all if he chose. But the thought sickened him. He had to find her. He had to find out once and for all what she was planning, if anything, and if she was truly the caring girl he thought she was.

For the time being, he would work on getting out of the cell he currently sat in though. One step at a time.

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