Warlands of Song

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Chapter Forty-Two: Glen

Glen peeked around a tree, looking at the scene before him. He muttered a sharp word.

“They’re there. They’re waiting for us.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“I do.”

He turned to Eavan, shrugging. “It’s my fault she’s in there, and I have to go get her out.”

The woman shook her head, frowning. “You children need to stop this blame game. You want to know whose fault it is that she’s in there? It’s the government’s fault. They’re letting this happen. The only thing you’re at fault for is trying your best to help her. You don’t have to go in there and do this.”

“But if I don’t do this, she’s going to die.”

“What did you tell be back there? You said she has grown and gotten so much stronger. Does that no longer apply?”

“Of course it does, but—”

“Saige will be fine.”

He thought about her words for a minute before shaking his head. “I’ll never forgive myself If I don’t got help her.”

Eavan sighed, but she nodded. “I can’t stop you. Go so what needs to be done. But remember what I told you. No killing.”

“I don’t think it’s my problem, if I kill someone. That’s on them. If they try to kill me, it’s just considered self defense.”

“Glen—”

“I’ll be fine, Eavan. Go back to be with the kids. They need you.”

“They’re fine where they are.”

“What are you going to be doing here?”

“I still have connections in there. I was going to see what I could do to help the two of you escape when the time comes.”

“I can do this alone—”

“Glen, let go of your ego for a second and think. This is about Saige’s life, but it’s also about yours. You can’t fight what you are. No matter how many men you mow through, it won’t change the fact that you’ve been lied to.”

“What are you saying?”

She sighed. “I’m saying that I don’t believe you’re in the most stable mindset to be going after anyone right now. Your motives are mixed up. Are you doing this for Saige, or to release your pent up aggression because you’ve been lied to all your life?”

He didn’t answer. Snow began to fall on the forest, and he shook his head.

“Don’t try to help us. We’ll be fine.”

She grabbed his arm before he left.

“I know I can’t stop you from doing this. But if you get in there and things get tough... they aren’t going to be pulling their punches because of who you are. They’re all on high alert. You need to remember the most important part of your training. What was it?”

He swallowed. “How to fall back.”

Her grip tightened. As small as she was, it hurt.

“Fall back. Don’t you dare get yourself killed just to prove a point. Think about Saige. She needs you.”

“She doesn’t need anyone—”

“Saige needs you whether she will accept it or not. Just because she’s terrified of love doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel it. She just doesn’t know what it feels like.”

“You think she loves me?”

“I think,” she said, “that she cares very much for you in a platonic way. Maybe even loves you. But she can’t see you in a romantic light, because she doesn’t know how. And she’s disciplined herself for so long not to see anyone in that way that you’ll have to work hard to convince her otherwise. But you can’t convince her if you’re dead. Fall back when you need to, and I promise you Saige will be okay.”

She released him, gave him a final nod, and ran back the way they came from. He steeled himself. Somewhere inside the base, Saige was waiting for him. Except she wouldn’t be waiting for him at all. She wasn’t a damsel in distress, waiting for prince charming. He’d be going to assist her in any way possible. They both had to make it out alive.

He stretched briefly, and peeked around the tree he hid behind. Soldiers covered the lawn and even the roof of the base, all with weapons drawn.

If they wanted to play rough, then he would play rough.

“No killing.”

Eavan’s voice filtered through his mind, but he shook it off. Killing might be necessary. They’d thrown him away like a piece of trash. Why shouldn’t he do the same?

Anger bubbled in his chest, and all his stress faded to the background. He would get revenge. For Saige and himself.

When he waled out into the open space, it took a moment for all of the soldiers to realize who he was. He let them point their weapons, and when the dozens of clicks reached his ears, he crossed his arms over his chest. A semi-solid barrier of Matter flew up around him, and bullets of all sizes coated it, sticking in the barrier. When all he heard was empty cartridges, he uncrossed his arms, leaving the barrier up. Then he began to turn the bullets in the Matter, and grit his teeth before throwing his arms wide. The bullets shot back at the soldiers who’d shot them at high speed. Every single man hit the ground, and black stained the snow.

He stepped over them as he passed. They wouldn’t die. Even though he’d wanted to land head shots on them all, he hadn’t. Why?

It wasn’t important now. But he truly might need that as a saving grace at his trial. If he ever got one. He made his way to the gates, and crushed them all before reaching the retina scanner. This meant he had to retrieve one of the men. So he did. He ignored the man’s feeble attempts at fighting him, and forced his head in front of the scanner.

“When they find you,” he told the man as he dropped him, “tell them that none of this would have happened if I still had my rightful place as Commander.”

The door slid shut behind him and he walked deeper into the base. No alarms had gone off at all. Surely someone must’ve been watching the soldiers outside to see if they actually had someone to fight. Right?

But not only were there no alarms, but the hallways were deserted. Maybe it was a trap.

He kept walking down multiple hallways. It was only now that he realized he wasn’t sure exactly what he was looking for. Saige wouldn’t be in her room. She also wasn’t in the execution room. So where was she? A woman appeared in the hallway he was in, but upon catching sight of him her eyes went wide and she turned to run. He threw a sphere of Matter at her feet, gluing them to the floor where she stood. She screamed, but He ran to her and covered her mouth with a hand before she could release a second one.

“Shh... I’m not going to hurt you. I just need to to tell me something. Where is everyone hiding? Where’s the trap?”

She was still screaming behind his hand. He applied Matter both to her mouth and nose. She struggled, freaking out, but when she began to sway in his arms, he removed the barriers. She sucked in a large breath. He leveled a warning look on her.

“I wouldn’t if I were you. Like I said, I won’t hurt you. But I do need to know where everyone is. Just give me the information.”

“No. I don’t know why you’re doing this—”

“Your superiors are doing a lot of shady things that you aren’t qualified to know about. And they’ve taken someone who is very important to me hostage, and is probably trying to dissect her as we speak. So when I say that I don’t have time for you’re self-righteous crap, just believe me.”

“They wouldn’t do that. They don’t torture people.”

“Right. Like I said, where are they?”

She didn’t answer, glaring at him, and he sighed. A small bead of Matter floated between her eyes, and she jerked back. He gripped the back of her head.

“What’s your name?”

She just stared at the Matter. He tightened his hold on her and expanded the bead.

“What’s your name?”

“Jessica.”

“Jessica, do you believe that Xinaan are evil?”

“Yes. They’re too powerful to be trusted.”

“Do you believe that they can do no good?”

“Yes. They’re all murderers. Even you.”

“Who am I?”

“You’re... Glen Mykel, aren’t you?”

So it was true then. Everyone on the planet had been told what he was. There was nowhere for him to hide.

He released her and the Matter reabsorbed into his palm.

“I’ve done nothing but help people from the moment I joined this military. But no one wants to remember that now.”

She swallowed, looking up at him.

“All I want is to get the girl I love back and go far, far away from here. We don’t want any trouble. But the military and the government are going to make it look like we wanted to blow up the planet. Because that’s how they twist things.”

She frowned.

“Maybe, the next time you hear someone talking badly about me, you can tell them what I’ve just told you. That I wasn’t interested in carnage. I just wanted to get Saige back.”

“But you hated Saige.”

He smiled sadly. “I never hated Saige. I just bought into the same ideals that were instilled in you. I was raised the same way you were. Namai. I had no idea...” He laughed. “No idea whatsoever.”

He passed her, continuing down the hallway without a second word.

“Commander?”

He turned.

“I hope you find her and get out of here.”

“Thank you.”

He rounded the corner, and came face to face with several armed guards. He raised his hands, ready to attack, but something pierced his neck and his vision went black. When he fell back, he heard the voice of the girl he’d just left in the hallway.

“He’s all yours.”

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