Warlands of Song

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Chapter Thirty-Eight: Saige

Her heart raced as Fey walked away from Glen and whoever he was with. She’d been so close to him, and he hadn’t even noticed her. But wasn’t that what she wanted? On one hand, yes it was, but on the other she’d wanted to jump out of that box and grab onto him and follow him wherever he went. Because not doing so meant that she was going along with her previous plan to go with Fey and then be essentially dropped off. She would then make her way to... where? She didn’t even know. Then she would be alone for the rest of her life. The rest of her life, however long that may be.

Or maybe she could find her parents. Maybe she could find Aaron. She could find him and he would become her family and they would live happily ever after-

Who was she kidding? She would never get her happy ever after. She would forever be alone in the world with her freakish powers knowing that everyone in the entire world was either terrified of her, wanted her dead, or both. She didn’t even know how to process that. Did she even want to process it?

“That was close,” Fey whispered under her breath.

She didn’t know whether the woman was actually trying to talk to her, or if she was just stressed out. It was probably a mix of the both of the emotions.

They rounded many corners before Saige felt Fey stutter in her walking. Something was wrong.

“What do I do when I run into someone who isn’t Glen,” Fey muttered. “They’re going to wonder why I’m not out helping the others with the fires, or why I’m not in the briefing room, or... crap I did not think this through.”

This was true. Neither of them had expected the alarms to blare and the entire base to go into lockdown. It threw their plans off completely. Saige could no longer get off base unseen, because Fey couldn’t. It was over.

She knocked on the box, and Fey set her down. She climbed out, stretching her limbs and sighing.

“Go. To help them, or to the briefing room. Just... leave me here. I can take care of myself.”

Fey shook her head. “No, there has to be another way-”

“Fey, stop. Too many people have already died because of me. Okay? Too many. Glen almost died twice. I won’t let them hurt you too. Not because of me. I’ll find another way out, by myself.”

“Look, I know you want to act like you’re superwoman or something, but just because you have all these powers doesn’t mean you don’t need help.”

“I’m not trying to act high and mighty!” she yelled. “Don’t you think I know,” she continued, whispering now, “that I need help? Everywhere I go, I’m known to be different. Namai will think I’m a Siren, Siren will think I’m Namai, and I can’t get back to earth by myself. I was fine on earth and I didn’t need help there, but now I have absolutely no one to rely on but myself and here is the place where I actually need help. I need it. But I can’t get it. So I’ll either find a way to sneak out, or I won’t, and they’ll have to catch me and kill me. I was fine with that, once.”

“But now you have help. Me. And whether or not you want to accept it, you’re going to.”

“No I’m not. Get out of my way.”

But Fey grabbed her arm and started dragging her through the hallway.

“I’m helping. We’re getting you out of here totally un...”

They heard the footsteps at the same time. Saige’s mind blanked. She started to move closer to the person coming, but Fey grabbed her and wrapped an arm around her neck.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, before crackling filled Saige’s ears and her world went dark.

*_*_*_*_*

She woke up on a thin pad on the floor. Her ankle was chained to the ground with something light and thin. But a quick tug on it revealed that as thin as it looked, it was far from flimsy. She was trapped.

The room she was in was small, and black. A stark contrast to the white rooms littered everywhere else. She tried to slip her fingers in between her bound ankle and the material that held it into place, but it was too tight. It wasn’t until she attempted to form Matter in her hands that the pain erupted.

She screamed, collapsing back onto the mattress. It lasted for all of five seconds, spasms coursing through her tiny frame until she could barely stand it, before it ended and she slumped back, gasping for air. She couldn’t use her power. She couldn’t break free.

Finally, she was officially stuck.

The wall slid open and Chief Luther walked in, followed closely by another man she’d never met.

“Miss Glade,” the Chief greeted her, stoically.

“Just kill me already. I don’t want to escape anymore, and I know I can’t. Just kill me, please-”

“Dear girl, calm yourself,” the stranger now spoke up. “We don’t want to kill you. That’s the least of our worries.”

“But-but you said-”

“We say a lot of things, dear. So that men like Glen, who have strange attachments to you, can let you go and forget about you. But rest assured you’re much too valuable to be destroyed so easily.”

Chief Luther turned to the man and they shook hands. “Well then, I’ll leave her to you.”

“Thank you, Chief. She’ll be taken good care of. And don’t worry, I’ll get you all the information you need.”

“You just want to interrogate me? Well good luck with that. I have no clue what’s happening right now.”

The man smiled and removed the jacket of his suit, folding it and setting it on the floor by the door. He then moved closer, into her space. Seated on the pad beside her, he reached for her.

“What are you doing? Get away from me.”

“Relax, dear. I’m trying to see something.”

“Don’t touch me.”

He chuckled, and moved faster than she’d ever seen. She wound up on her back, his hands on her face. His eyes roamed her body, and she tensed. Her attempt to lash out, however was met with a controlled grasp and no way to counter it. She shrieked and truly began to struggle, but realized quickly that she was no match for him. He pinned her to the mattress and held her there. But he didn’t touch her anywhere else.

“You had to make this so difficult. All I wanted was to see you up close.”

“Well you can see, so get off of me,” she spat in his face.

He released her, and she scrambled back into the corner. He stood, brushing off his suit. He was shorter than the men she was used to being around. Obviously Namai, but stockier and less defined. Not a soldier. Maybe that was the difference she was looking for.

“You’re an amazing girl, you know that? Not many have been able to make it this far on their own.”

“What are you talking about?”

“After all you’ve been through. Sent to earth as a child, on your own, and left to your own devices. There’s no trace of you anywhere on that god-forsaken planet. It’s as though you’ve just popped up out of nowhere. Then you manage to get one of the most decorated officers to transport you here. Why you’d want that, I can’t tell. Are your intents to brainwash us all?”

“All I want is to be left alone.”

“No, that can’t be true, dear. Your actions speak otherwise. What is your true goal, being here?”

“My goal was not to come here. But you keep killing the people I care about and I had to stop it.”

He nodded, smiling. He was a handsome man. She expected someone like him to be ugly and disgusting to look at. But this man wore a three-piece suit like a t-shirt and jeans, dark brown hair and glinting hazel eyes. He screamed wealthy. And his actions screamed dangerous.

“What do you want from me?”

“To examine you,” he said. “You’re one of the first Xinaan I’ve ever been around. The only one I’ve been around who isn’t in hiding.”

“Well that’s great. Congratulations. But you won’t be examining me.”

He looked around, and held out his hands. “Who will stop me?”

She kept her mouth shut, glaring at him.

“Saige, I don’t want our relationship to be a tumultuous one. I have my needs and you have yours. I know you are upset right now, but hopefully you’ll come around when given the opportunity to see how I work. What I truly expect and want from you.”

“Which you for some reason refuse to tell me.”

“In time, in time. For now, rest. Miss Jensen dealt you a good deal of a shock, I believe.”

Fey? Fey had done this to her. She’d knocked her out-betrayed her. She should’ve known all along that when the going got tough Fey wouldn’t stay with her. She curled into herself, her body now in autopilot.

“I’ll leave you to rest now. But my name is Byron. Just call if you need anything.”

He left the room, and she pressed as far as she could into her corner. No, this wasn’t what was supposed to happen. Either she was to be killed, or she was to be free. There was nothing about slavery or being a lab rat in her plans.

A whimper escaped her before she could fully process what was happening. All her life she’d either been left alone or running from someone. Now there was nowhere to run, no one to help her, and she’d be locked under the control of these men she didn’t even know. To be probed and stabbed and hooked up to machines so strange tests could be run on her. The very existence she’d tried to protect herself from on earth. The reason why she lived in complete and total solitude, cut off from everyone around her.

She’d be treated like the freak she was.

Her arms wrapped around her knees and she released a shuddering breath. She should’ve stayed in her room. If she’d never tried to escape she would be dead right now and not scared for her sanity... Was it cowardly to wish for the former?

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