Awakening: The ALPHA Generation

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Chapter 20

I pass Elle to Xander and take out my gun. It gives me two shots before clicking unresponsively. Out of ammo. Casting the depleted weapon aside, I turn to Xander, who cradles Elle’s small body in his arms.

“The stick,” I say.

He understands and hands me the electricity baton. It crackles when I flick it on, illuminating my face with a blue light.

Darren looks over his shoulder at me and cocks his head at the nearest Defense van. That’s our destination. Our goal. I nod in understanding and watch as he takes the lead.

Staying close to the wall, we work our way through the rows of vehicles. Bullets fly over my head, so close I can hear their shrieks before they burst on the wall. The stick in my hand is my only defense.

A woman wielding a long-barrelled gun jumps out from behind one of the cars across the way. Her face is strangely placid, maintaining the Redeemer air even as she pulls the trigger, sending a smattering of bullets aimed towards me.

I make a dash for the nearest vehicle. Another round of bullets come my way, and I drop to my stomach and roll underneath it.

Darren and Xander are nearby, having reached the van carrying Elle. If I make it to them, I’ll be safe. I get out from under the car and run, still clutching the baton.

Suddenly, a body slams into mine, sending me crashing into the pavement. My chin stings as it scrapes across the concrete. Someone’s on top of me, heavy and strong. A white flash of a uniformed arm streaks across my vision.

“Don’t resist,” he says through clenched teeth. “You can trust the Redeemers.”

In response, I jab him with electricity stick, and he falls off me in a fit of convulsions as tendrils of electricity shudder across his body. I grab his gun before running towards Darren. When I reach him, he grabs my arm to practically toss me into the back of the van. I climb to my knees and fire through the open doors. This time, I hit my target.

I reach forward to slam the doors shut. Xander crouches beside me, gingerly supporting Elle on the floor. Up front, Darren throws himself in the driver’s seat and runs his hands across the control board. The van comes to life at his touch as the control panel lights up.

A loud, echoing sound comes from behind us. As he pulls away, Darren glances over his shoulder and curses. “They’ve got hurricanes. Smaller ones.”

My stomach drops. Hurricanes usually come in larger sizes. When dropped in large numbers, they can level entire cities. I’m sure a smaller one would be able to destroy our van.

Darren slams his palm against the control stick and the van lurches forward, throwing me off my feet. Seconds later, an earth-shattering boom echoes from behind us. Darren swerves to the right, making me roll to the side and slam into the wall.

“Strap in!” he calls back to us.

He’s going as fast as he can, his hand forcing the control stick to its farthest level. Xander is still on the ground, keeping a hold of Elle’s unconscious body. Together, we manage to strap her into one of the seats. She’s completely limp, like a ragdoll. The van lurches to the left, and I lose my footing, crashing into the wall.

Xander grabs my hand and pulls me into a nearby seat. His quick fingers snap me into place before I can do so much as blink. He’s in his own seat seconds later.

Behind us, another explosion breaks through the air, this time nearer. They’re only using mini hurricanes, but the mere launching of them sounds like the earth is splitting beneath us.

The attack continues. The van barely dodges an incoming missile. I let out a breath and grip the seat with pale hands.

“Where are we going?” Xander asks from his seat, clinging to the walls.

“To the countryside, for now,” Darren responds, still forcing the vehicle to its top speed. The engine grinds with the movement. Outside, wind whips by with ferocity. The Hub begins to shrink into the darkness, along with the sound of the hurricanes booming.

As the town flies by and we drive onto barren roads, a rotting feeling sinks in my gut. I look at the growing darkness and realize that in a way, the lives we’ve known have ended.

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