Awakening: The ALPHA Generation

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Chapter 29

"It’s too late.”

Carper sits across from me, leaning back in his chair. I sit, back ridged, with Darren by my side and Xander and Elle standing behind us.

“We shouldn’t ignore this-“ I begin, but he holds up a hand.

“Those people are gone. We can’t bring them back.”

“We could fight back,” Xander suggests from behind me. “And keep it from happening again.”

“There’s no way to end Cleansings,” Carper says. “As long as the Remainder trusts and believes the Redeemers, nothing will change.”

An idea pops into my head.

“The minichip.” I look at Elle. “When we hacked into the techwave region, it recorded our findings, right?”

She nods eagerly. “There were documents. And what looked like Cleansing footage.”

I turn to Carper excitedly. “We can leak the footage of the Cleansings onto the Cliks. The quality wasn’t great, but it would be enough.”

He folds his arms across his chest. “And do you have this minichip?”

Elle looks sheepish. “Um…no, we didn’t have it with us when they took us to be Cleansed.”

“But we know where it is,” I add quickly. “And if it’s still there, it should have all of the data on it – including the Cleansing footage.”

“And you’re certain that those videos are recordings of Cleansings?”

I nod. All the pieces fit into place - what else could they be?

Carper nods to himself. “That’s good. That’s very good. Proof of the Redeemers’ true nature could spark rebellion.” Something like hope flickers in his eye. “This could be the catalyst for the Redeemer’s downfall.”

“There’s also ALPHA,” Elle mentions. She tugs at the end of her braid, nervously keeping her eyes away from Carper’s face. “If people knew the Redeemers were hiding that, too, they definitely wouldn’t trust them anymore.”

“Do we have proof of the AI?” Carper asks her.

She seems to force her eyes to his face. He makes her nervous, I realize. Elle used to be confident and unafraid – this ordeal must be taking a toll on her. “We were recording our travel through the region. That would include ALPHA’s system. I should be able to sort through our recording and find proof.”

The Commander nods. “Good. If the people believe what we leak, the Redeemers will lose their support. That’s when we step in.”

Next to me, Darren – who’s been silent so far - frowns. “With all due respect, but are you sure you want to leak that so soon? The shock of the Cleansings will create panic. Adding ALPHA to the mix could cause chaos.”

“Which is exactly what we want,” Carper counters. “With the entire world turned against them, the Redeemers will lose their power. When they’re are at their lowest point, we make our move.“

My eyes widen. “That’s perfect.”

“I’m not saying it isn’t,” Darren says. “But my suggestion is to take our steps one at a time. Leaking all the Redeemers’ secrets first thing will result in pandemonium. That’s exactly the sort of thing that led to the Bloodletting.”

The footage of burnt bodies and collapsed buildings shown at the Renewal Ceremony comes to my mind. All of that bloodshed, that death. The war ended in complete disaster – the world can’t go through that again.

Darren goes on, “So unless we want another cataclysmic war, I suggest we execute our plan a bit differently.” He motions to Carper. “With your permission, of course.”

Carper nods.

Darren clears his throat. “I suggest we deal our strikes one at a time. The shock of the Cleansing footage alone will be enough to cripple the Remainders’ trust in the Redeemers. Once the news has spread, people will take matters into their own hands. Riots. Revolution.”

There’s a subtle gleam in his eye, like talk of chaos and warfare thrills him. I watch and listen in fascination. Darren has always been calm and reserved, but right now, he sounds ruthless. We’re lucky to have him on our side.

“By then we’ll have evidence of ALPHA’s existence.” He gestures to Elle. “That’s when we deal the deathblow. The Truth steps in as the saviors of the world. We establish government, rebuild society, etcetera.”

Apparently finished, he leans back in his chair. A satisfied smile tugs at the corner of his mouth.

It’s a good plan; I wouldn’t expect anything less from Darren. Carper rubs his chin.

“It might work,” he finally admits.

Darren shrugs humbly, but his smile has taken full form.

“So,” I step in. “We need the minichip. We can sneak back to Elle’s house to get it, but we’ll need to get passed the Redeemers.”

The Commander waves a hand dismissively. “Not a problem. A good disguise and a believable story will get you anywhere. If you’re quick, you may even go unnoticed.”

“We should go as soon as possible,” Darren comments.

“Tomorrow. Two of you can go - Gray and Janet will accompany you.”

“Nat, why don’t you and Elle go?” Darren suggests.

I nod in agreement. We’ll be going to Elle’s house – I’m sure her family will be relieved to see her alive.

Elle shifts her feet. “I’m happy to go, but I have one condition.”

Carper raises an eyebrow.

“My family is there,” Elle goes on, glancing my way. “I want to bring them back with me.”

“How do I know we can trust them?”

“What?” Elle’s eyes cloud for a moment, and her nervousness is replaced with irritation. “Of course you can.”

“They don’t have any loyalties to the Redeemers? No reason to betray the Truth?”


“But do they support us?”

Elle looks flustered, turning to me for help.

“We bring her family back with us.” I fold my arms, ignoring my own nervousness. “Those are our terms.”

Carper’s eye twitches in anger. “I’m not about to let more strangers into this place.”

“You let us in,” Xander comments.

Carper scowls at him for one long, grueling moment. “I can’t afford to take any more risks.”

Elle stands up suddenly. She steadies her gaze and looks the Commander directly in the eye. “My little brother – a child – might be Cleansed. Are you alright with that?”

Carper stares at her, and for one second, I see a flash in his eye, a flicker of a memory. It disappears almost as quickly as it appeared.

“Please,” Elle continues, the fight draining out of her voice. “Let them come here. The Redeemers…they’ll kill them.”

At her words, I see that hint of pain in Carper’s eye again. “How many members?” he asks warily.

“Three. Just my parents and my younger brother.”

He lets out a long, frustrated breath. “Fine. But just the three of them.”

Elle’s shoulders visibly relax. Carper starts talking again, giving us instructions to come to the main area at six the next morning. When he’s done, he leaves the room, and Elle lets out a huge sigh of relief.

“They’re coming here,” she whispers to herself. “They’re going to be safe!”

“We promised you, didn’t we?” Xander grins. “Just one more day, then you’ll see them again.”

She shakes her head in disbelief, smiling.

One more day. By tomorrow, we’ll have the minichip and evidence to use against the Redeemers. Things are finally starting to fall into place. The idea sends shivers of excitement down my spine.

Soon the world will see the truth of the Redeemers.

And revolution will start.

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